Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati Opens Fetal Surgery Unit

Unit is First of its Kind in the World

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

CINCINNATI -- The Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati has opened a fetal surgery unit -- the first of its kind in the world. The new fetal surgery unit, housed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, includes both inpatient and outpatient facilities.

The Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati is a collaborative program that brings together experts from Cincinnati Children's, The University Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in the care of high-risk pregnancies. It is the only comprehensive center for fetal evaluation, diagnosis and treatment in the Midwest.

"The new fetal surgery unit complements other unique aspects of the Fetal Care Center," says Timothy Crombleholme, MD, director of the Center. "Early and accurate diagnosis of a fetal abnormality lets physicians and parents knowledgeably choose the best option for treatment. The earlier problems of the fetus are treated, the greater the potential for improvement of the child's health for the long term. We are proud to be a leader in providing exceptional care, advanced treatments, including fetoscopic and open fetal surgery, and improved outcomes to babies and moms."

Fetal surgery is currently performed in an operating room at Cincinnati Children's specifically designed and equipped for open fetal surgery; fetoscopic surgery, in which surgeons use a fiberoptic scope to enter the uterus to correct defects through small surgical openings; and ex-utero intrapartum / EXIT procedures, in which surgeons partially remove the fetus from the womb and perform surgery while the fetus remains attached to the umbilical cord.

The new unit complements and expands services to include two state-of-the-art critical care / high risk rooms designed for women admitted after fetoscopic surgery, open fetal surgery or an EXIT procedure.

The unit also includes an ultrasound suite, exam room, consultation rooms, two "nesting" rooms (where the patient and family members can rest) and conference facilities. A unique hybrid cardiac catheterization lab, to be located in a nearby suite, is now being planned for standard cardiac catheterization, combined open heart / catheter procedures and fetal cardiac interventions.

"The Fetal Surgery Unit is designed as a home away from home, where mothers and babies can receive complete care together," says John Blignault, GBBN Architects, which designed the unit. "One of our primary goals was to provide as stress-free an experience for the mother as possible. The nesting rooms allow this to occur. Moreoever, it offers caregivers the advantage of having specialized resources and equipment in one location, so they can provide a continuum of care that meets each family's special needs."

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, 513-636-4656,