Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center
Fetal Care | Treatments and Services

Comprehensive Care from an Expert Team of Specialists

At the Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center, our experts in maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology and fetal surgery share a passion for providing exceptional, comprehensive care for mothers and babies experiencing high-risk pregnancies or complex fetal conditions.

Our team knows patients and their families are sometimes dealing with difficult decisions and may be fearful of the future. To help relieve those worries and concerns, we strive to create and maintain an atmosphere of compassion.

Comprehensive Evaluation and Definitive Diagnosis

To help make your treatment as smooth as possible, our collaborative team offers the resources to conduct all the necessary initial testing and provides a definitive diagnosis and counseling plan during one visit to the Fetal Care Center.

Experts from many disciplines work together to provide you with a comprehensive evaluation that goes beyond medical tests. At the end of the day, our team collectively determines your diagnosis and formulates a comprehensive treatment plan. You will participate in this evaluation meeting, receiving a thorough understanding of your and your baby's condition before we discuss treatment options. The team's nondirectional counseling ensures that you will have the knowledge to make a confident, well-informed decision about your treatment plan.

Prenatal Diagnostic Tools

Our specialists use a variety of high-tech tools to assess and diagnose fetal conditions. Most commonly, we use:

  • Targeted fetal ultrasound: This noninvasive tool gives doctors detailed images of your baby.
  • Fetal echocardiogram: This high-resolution 3D and 4D ultrasound test can diagnose complex heart abnormalities.
  • Fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This sophisticated tool helps doctors identify structural abnormalities that older tests would miss.

In some cases, additional testing is necessary to assist in the fetal diagnosis. This may include:

  • Amniocentesis: A procedure in which a physician draws a sample of amniotic fluid, which surrounds your baby in the womb. We analyze the sample to look for chromosome abnormalities, structural defects and indications of metabolic disorders.
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS): An alternative to amniocentesis, CVS is a procedure that can be performed earlier in your pregnancy, allowing more time for physicians and parents to plan for treatment.
  • Fetal Blood Sampling: Also known as percutaneous blood sampling, this procedure draws a sample of blood from the baby's umbilical cord. We use the sample to conduct genetic karyotype analysis, which can give us a clearer picture of your baby's condition.
  • Fetal Skin / Muscle Biopsy: This minimally invasive procedure takes a biopsy of skin or muscle from your baby in the womb to test for certain skin and muscle diseases.
  • Diagnostic Fetoscopy: In this minimally invasive procedure, a physician inserts a small imaging device called a fetoscope into the uterus and examines your baby for signs of abnormalities or disease.

Personalized Treatment Recommendations

Every pregnancy—every mother, every baby—is different. To meet your specific needs, the Fetal Care Center offers a complete array of treatment options. Our goal is to improve outcomes and enhance the long-term quality of life for our patients.

Minimally Invasive Fetal Interventions

  • Fetoscopic surgery
  • Selective fetal laser procedures
  • Radiofrequency ablation

Other Fetal Interventions

  • Cardiac procedures
  • Open fetal surgery for rare and life-threatening conditions
  • Ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedures

OB Clinic and Special Delivery Unit

In many cases, having a high-risk pregnancy means you need more extensive prenatal services that may not be available with your local providers. If our experts determine you would benefit from high-risk obstetric (OB) care, our OB Clinic may be an option for you. It's designed to give you the care you need—from prenatal counseling to testing to management—in one location.

We can also care for your needs during and after delivery. If your baby needs advanced medical care or surgery right after birth, you may be able to deliver your child at Cincinnati Children's Fetal Care Center's Special Delivery Unit. It's one of the only birthing centers in the world located inside a pediatric hospital. Our fetal neonatologists and specialists are on-hand to evaluate your baby and help determine needed care without having to transfer your baby away from you to another hospital.

Postnatal and Long-Term Follow-Up Care

Many of our patients continue to need long-term medical care after birth. The Fetal Care Center collaborates with several other Cincinnati Children's clinics to ensure you and your child receive the services you need.