+91 484 29 60 797, +91 94005 60 797 kochi@lifelinehospitalkerala.com

Fetal Medicine

Fetal Medicine

The Fetal Medicine Department at the Lifeline Hospital is an integral component of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is committed to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for conditions affecting the fetus.

This department is mainly involved in using various diagnostic procedures to determine the health of the unborn child. The department specializes in diagnosis, comprehensive management and counseling, especially when pregnancies are complicated due to fetal abnormalities. The experienced faculty provide a full range of ultrasound services, including ante-partum scans in the first, second and third trimesters, Down syndrome screening, Fetal ECHO, 3D/4D ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided procedures. Scheduled prenatal diagnostic consultation and targeted ultrasound examinations are available through the division six days a week. Invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are performed here.

Why Fetal Medicine Department?

  • Centre where fetal anomalies can be diagnosed early and accurately
  • To counsel the parents adequately and accurately, such that appropriate decisions can be made during pregnancy
  • To co-ordinate with the primary care physician/obstetrician to facilitate best results Spread awareness of fetal and neonatal care
  • To have a Centre of Excellence for the continuum of Initial evaluation by a Fetal Medicine Specialist and review of previous reports.
  • There may be a possibility of review after 2-6 weeks or as required Multidisciplinary Team Approach: Having established a diagnosis, the parents will be scheduled a joint appointment with the Foetal Medicine Specialist and a relevant consultant, e.g., Neonatologist, Paediatric surgeon/urologist or Paediatric neurologist/cardiologist for counselling regarding their various options available, with a fair idea of the survival rates in each situation
  • Ultrasound scan and counselling regarding the diagnosis Invasive testing as required (Chorionic villous sampling / amniocentesis)
  • In those cases where the parents opt for termination of pregnancy, they are advised to either contact their obstetrician or schedule the same in our hospital.
  • In either case, attempts may be made to acquire the products of conception for research purposes
  • Postnatal review for a complete discussion regarding the case, i.e. recurrence risks and planning for future pregnancy

The Department offers:

Ultrasonography to access fetal structural abnormalities and fetal health

  • Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan (11wks to 13wks 6days)

    The nuchal translucency scan (also called the NT scan) uses ultrasound to assess your developing baby's risk of having Down syndrome (DS) and some other chromosomal abnormalities, as well as major congenital heart problems.

  • Second trimester anomaly / Target scan

    This is a detailed scan at 18-20 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.If any abnormalities are detected the significance of the findings will be discussed.

  • Multiple Pregnancy Scan

    In the first trimester, ultrasound allows to diagnose the number of multiples, chorionicity and amnionicity, the presence or absence of nuchal translucency, early growth discordance, severe malformations and the origin of activities and contacts between multiples. In the second and third trimester, the opportunity to examine the cervix by transvaginal ultrasound should not be missed to detect the risk of premature delivery. Ultrasound is essential for the early grading and treatment of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), the diagnosis of malformations and growth disturbances. Finally, ultrasound is used for the detection of the position of multiples and the decision of the optimal route of delivery. This is of main importance in delayed interval delivery and expectant management of multifetal pregnancies and early cervical dilatation.

  • Fetal well being Scan (Growth Scan)

    Fetal Growth or Well-Being scans are performed at any stage after 24 weeks of pregnancy. This scan aims to determine the growth and health of the fetus by:

    • Measurement of the size of the fetal head, abdomen and thigh bone and calculation of an estimate of fetal weight
    • Examination of the movements of the fetus
    • Evaluation of the placental position and appearance
    • Measurement of the amount of amniotic fluid
    • Assessment of blood flow to the placenta and fetus by colour Doppler ultrasound

  • Fetal Doppler

    Fetal Doppler are often used to check the placental blood flow, the foetal umbilical blood flow, and blood flow in the heart and brain to ensure everything is normal

Fetal Echocardiography (Detailed examination of fetal heart)

Heart diseases in babies are commoner than thought; about 5 % of all pregnancies have a baby with heart defects and 1 % of all live births have heart defects. Foetal echocardiography (Foetal echo) is the detailed evaluation of the heart of the foetus to check for any abnormalities so that decisions can be taken during the pregnancy in the best interest of the foetus.

3D & 4D Ultrasound

3D scans show still pictures of your baby in three dimensions. 4D scans show moving 3D images of your baby, with time being the fourth dimension. In Lifeline if our doctors prefer 3D and 4D ultrasounds because they can show certain birth defects, such as cleft palate, that might not show up on a standard ultrasound.

Invasive Procedures

  • Chorionic Villus Sampling

    Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test that involves taking a sample of tissue from the placenta to test for chromosomal abnormalities and certain other genetic problems. CVS is offered in pregnancies where there is a high risk of the baby having a serious inherited condition.

    • Family history or previous child with a genetic disease, or chromosomal or metabolic disorder
    • Maternal age over 35 years by the pregnancy due date
    • Risk of a sex-linked genetic disease
    • Previous ultrasound with questionable or abnormal findings

  • Fetal Blood Sampling (Cordocentesis)

    Fetal blood sampling is a procedure to take a small amount of blood from an unborn baby (fetus) during pregnancy.

  • Fetal Blood Sampling (Cordocentesis)

    Fetal blood sampling is a procedure to take a small amount of blood from an unborn baby (fetus) during pregnancy.

  • Amniocentesis

    Amniocentesis is a procedure used to obtain a small sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy. Amniocentesis is not offered to all pregnant women. It’s only offered if there’s a higher chance your baby could have a genetic condition. This could be because:

    • An antenatal screening test has suggested your baby may be born with a condition, such as Down’s syndrome, Edwards’ syndrome or Patau’s syndrome
    • You have had a previous pregnancy that was affected by a genetic condition
    • You have a family history of a genetic condition, such as sickle cell disease, thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis or muscular dystrophy.

  • Multi-fetal pregnancy Reduction

    Multifetal pregnancy reduction (MFPR) is a procedure used to reduce the number of fetuses in a multiple pregnancy. When a pregnancy involves three or more fetuses (high-order pregnancy), the risks of miscarriage, stillbirth, and lifelong disability increase with each additional fetus. It is also known as “selective termination” when it involves a fetus with severe defects or one that is expected to die later in the pregnancy, which would threaten the life of the surviving fetus or fetuses.

  • Intrauterine Transfusions

    Intrauterine transfusion is a procedure in which red blood cells from a donor are injected into the fetus. Intrauterine transfusion may be recommended when a fetus has anemia (low red blood cell count). The goals of fetal blood transfusions are to:

    • Prevent or treat fetal hydrops before delivery—Hydrops is caused by severe anaemia. It leads to fluid collecting in the skin, lungs, belly, or around the heart. It can develop into heart failure.
    • Continue the pregnancy so the fetus can be born close to due date.

Prominent Equipment

GE VOLUSON E10 with Matrix Probe

Working hours

Monday to Saturday : 9am – 5 pm

All scans are planned in advance by your doctor and you are advised to fix an appointment according to your scan dates

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