Fetal Medicine

What is Fetal medicine?

It is a specialized branch of medicine that is necessary to overlook on the health concerns of the mother and fetus prior to pregnancy and post pregnancy.

Fetal is a detailed scan at 20-24 weeks of pregnancy. During the scan we examine each part of the fetal body, determine the position of the placenta, assess the amount of amniotic fluid, and measure fetal growth .Special attention is paid to the brain, face, spine, heart, stomach, bowel, kidneys and limbs.

Types of Fetal Scan

Fetal Echocardiography

An ultrasound test that is done in the duration of pregnancy to examine and evaluate the heart of the fetus. This test permits the parents to test, see and hear the sound, structure and functions of the fetus’s heart. This examination is done by the use of sound waves that produces echoes and determines the structure of the unborn baby’s heart while the progressive advanced technology creates an eco diagram or Image of the heart.

These prenatal ultrasound tests are performed routinely before the pregnancy period to provides accurate updates and information about the development in the four chambers of the unborn baby’s heart. Most fetuses do not require further testing apart from this. In case of doubtful ultrasound reports the mother must undergo Fetal ECHO to further check the development of the heart and signs of abnormality.

Amniocentesis / Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

CVS is a standard procedure that helps in parental testing and has been used since ages but now it’s even more advanced and a secure procedure. CVS is conducted by collecting a sample of cells from the placenta this procedure is only effective when it’s done between 10-13 week of gestation. CVS is performed either transvaginally or transabdominal. The method of approach depends on the position of the placenta and its implantation on the uterus. This is a standardized procedure of collecting the samples on which various tests are performed medically which results in diagnosis. Fetal medicine tests include karyotype and microarray that are performed with the help of samples. Here at KNDC, we test for the specific inheritable condition or genetic conditions that the parents are concerned about.

Amniocentesis is performed 16-22 weeks before pregnancy it’s a prenatal diagnosis that does not involve collecting of samples from placenta but collecting of samples from the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, this fluid is basically the cells shed from the fetus’s skin and its intestinal tract. One major benefit of amniocentesis over CVS is the probability of the risk of miscarriage is typically quoted as less than or equal to 0.5% wherein in CVS its 1.0%. We as experts at KNDC having a long experience in this very field advise you to get the right diagnosis and right tests under the guidance of right experts.

Growth Doppler

Growth Doppler is the process that involves the use of ultrasonic sound waves to detect the movement of blood flow in the vessels. It measures the flow of blood through the umbilical cord and around different parts of the fetus’s organs like the brain and heart. This detects whether proper nutrient and oxygen are received by the baby via the placenta. The Doppler scans are one of the safest ultrasound scans that cones along with trained experts that handle both the mother and fetus with care. A Doppler scan enables to provide the exact picture of the baby’s health and nourishment. Results of the Diagnosis is achieved by performing a Doppler ultrasound at the legs. The test takes a time duration of 15-30 minutes. Restricted blood flow in the body of the fetus can cause less birth weight, impaired cognitive development, reduced height, etc. It’s a branch of the Doppler ultrasound used in special situations – The Trans-cranial Doppler is used to examine the risk of stroke in babies with sickle cell anaemia.

Doppler scans are especially recommended to mothers with the following conditions :

  • A mother carrying twins, triplets or more.
  • For mother’s with low or high body mass index (BMI)
  • Medical conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
  • If the baby is affected by rhesus antibodies
  • If the baby’s growth rate is slow
  • For mothers with the history of a Previous miscarriage
  • For Mother’s that are heavy smokers

NT SCAN Center

KNDC is known as a specialised centre with NT scans that are performed by licensed experts.

Following objectives are evaluated and examined in an NT scan

  • Growth of the fetus
  • Down Syndrome or Genetic Disorder screening
  • Structural development appropriate for that gestation
  • Preterm screening
  • Preeclampsia (for mother’s with high Blood pressure) screening.

It’s a required assessment that is predicted through the NT scan to prevent and stop complications rather than not knowing about it. It’s done in the time frame of 15-30 mins or more depending on the position of the fetus.

This scan is usually accompanied by a crucial Blood test called Dual/Double marker while the entire process is known as the First Trimester Screening for Down’s Syndrome.

Benefits of Fetal medicine:

  • Certified to provide specialized care to mothers with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and hypertension,etc.
  • Complete follow up and investigation of mother and fetus.
  • Diagnosis of the fetuses prone to high risk of congenital abnormalities, genetic disease and growth restriction.
  • Helps to examine, assess, monitor and provide special care to the fetus with advanced Sonographies, genetic investigations and updated medical knowledge.
  • Investigates and intervenes in order to provide excellent treatment to thefetus when necessary.
  • Acts as a counselor and guide to the parents involved.
  • Involves discussion of the complete plan of action with the obstetrician.
  • Clears all doubts and queries regarding to pregnancy.
  • The ultimate goal is to improve perinatal outcomeand to decrease the number of deaths that could occur during the births of infants due to obstructed labor, infection or maternal bleeding.

Fetal Medicine Training Programme

Certificate of Competence by The Fetal Medicine Foundation