Fetal Medicine is a specialty of obstetrics that is involved with the diagnosis and treatment in an unborn baby. At Mediclinic Welcare Hospital, we now have a Fetal Medicine Centre.
The centre aims to provide tertiary level fetal medicine services for mothers in collaboration with the obstetricians and neonatologists. We have evidence-based and patient centric care pathways and we offer counselling, support and timely intervention for fetuses, as needed.
In general, most pregnancies and babies are healthy. The aim of fetal medicine, as an integral part of antenatal care, is to ensure a healthy outcome for the mother and the baby. A small proportion (2-3%) of unborn babies however, may have abnormalities / conditions detected before birth. This includes chromosomal problems and medically or surgically correctable structural or genetic anomalies. The role of the fetal medicine centre is pivotal in these pregnancies, where the prospective parents are counselled extensively and a management plan is drawn involving a multidisciplinary team as required. This allows for appropriate management for correctable conditions and provision of optimal options in other situations.
The Fetal Medicine Centre offers the option of screening pregnancies to predict the possibility of certain fetal anomalies and also of maternal complications (like pre-eclampsia) earlier in the pregnancy. This can help us to reduce the risk (by certain medications) and also monitor such pregnancies closely, so that problems are picked up early and managed effectively before the onset of complications.
The Fetal Medicine Centre (FMC) services provided are:
- Prenatal Counselling
- Ultrasound Scans
- Dating and viability scans
- First trimester scan - 11-14 weeks scan
- Morphology scan – 18-23 weeks scan
- Fetal growth checks
- Detailed evaluation of the blood flows to baby and placenta (Doppler)
- Placental site check
- 3D and 4D scans
- Fetal Echocardiography – a detailed check of the fetal heart structure, function and rhythm
- Screening tests
- Screening for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities
- Non-invasive prenatal testing – NIPT – cell free DNA testing
- Screening for pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction – Uterine Artery Doppler
- Invasive procedures
- Diagnostic – to confirm chromosomes, infections or other genetic conditions such as beta thalassemia. These include procedures such as Chorionic Villous Sampling (CVS) and Amniocentesis
- Therapeutic – amnio-reduction / fetal shunt placements for pleural effusion, etc., in very specific cases