Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment
The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment (CFDT) provides complete care for women carrying babies with known birth defects, from diagnosis and prenatal management through fetal surgery, to delivery and care after birth. Our experts, including world leaders in fetal therapy and maternal-fetal medicine specialists, work together to provide the best possible care for mother and baby. Our team is among the most experienced in the world in treating complex birth defects.
Conditions we treat
- Abdominal wall defects (gastroschisis, omphalocele)
- Amniotic band syndrome
- Cleft lip/cleft palate
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
- Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome (CHAOS)
- Congenital hyperinsulinism
- Gastrointestinal anomalies
- Genetic disorders
- Genitourinary defects including lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO)
- Lung lesions including bronchopulmonary sequestration (BPS), congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), hybrid lesions
- Musculoskeletal anomalies
- Neck masses
- Neurological anomalies (hydrocephalus)
- Spina bifida (myelomeningocele)
- Twin and multiples including conjoined twins, twin reversed arterial perfusion sequence (TRAP), twin-twin transfusion syndrome
- Congenital heart anomalies
Specialized clinical services
The CFDT is one of only a few programs worldwide to offer open fetal surgery for life-threatening conditions, as well as a variety?of other fetal interventions. The center’s team has performed more than 1,629 fetal surgeries — more than any other program in the world.
Fetal surgeries offered include:
- Bladder and chest shunt placement
- Fetoscopic surgery
- Fetoscopic laser ablation (LASER)
- Fetoscopic bipolar cord coagulation (BCC)
- Fetoscopic radio frequency ablation (RFA)
- Open fetal surgery
- Ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT)
- Fetal cardiac intervention
- IMPACT procedure
Fetal Heart Program
The Fetal Heart Program is a national leader in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of fetal heart disease.
The Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit (SDU), the world’s first birthing facility dedicated to healthy mothers carrying babies with known birth defects, offers comprehensive care from a highly experienced, multidisciplinary team before, during and after fetal surgery, as well as complete labor and delivery services during a baby’s delivery. Complete obstetrical care is provided by our experienced staff of obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, anesthesiologists, obstetric nurses and others. Support services and counseling to help with relocation issues such as housing, travel, insurance, financial matters and emotional support are also available.
The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) provides care for critically ill newborns and infants, and is equipped with the latest technology and advances in neonatal medicine. This surgical N/IICU is staffed by experienced advanced practice nurses, attending neonatologists, and pediatric surgeons day and night to provide specialized care to infants with surgical disease.
Advanced diagnostic tools
Because accurate diagnosis is essential to planning treatment, we will perform tests to establish or confirm the suspected condition. Our team uses highly specialized equipment and follows specific imaging protocols developed by our Fetal Imaging Center to ensure that the best images possible are obtained during each stage of pregnancy, allowing for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of fetal anomalies.
Diagnostic tests may include:
- Ultrasound — Specially trained fetal radiologists and dedicated fetal sonographers provide detailed high-resolution fetal ultrasound, including 3-D and 4-D imaging.
- Fetal echocardiogram — Specially trained fetal cardiologists and dedicated fetal sonographers perform more than 3,700 of these noninvasive studies each year to assess the structure and function of the fetal heart.
- Ultrafast fetal MRI — An imaging technique advanced at CHOP that can include 3-D MRI reconstruction. It requires no sedation of the mother or fetus.
- Low-dose fetal CT scan — A technology pioneered at CHOP that has one-tenth the radiation of conventional CT and makes evaluation and diagnosis quicker, safer and more efficient