What is Fetal Therapy?

Fetal therapy has emerged as a groundbreaking approach to addressing rare heart defects in unborn babies. Rare or congenital heart defects can lead to serious complications or even loss of life when left untreated. However, due to advancements in monitoring, many obstetricians and fetal-medicine specialists can easily track, monitor, and prepare for treatment for mothers with high-risk pregnancies.

What is Fetal Therapy?

Fetal therapy is a specialized medicine branch offering interventions for women with high-risk pregnancies. For unborn babies with rare heart defects, these conditions affect the heart’s ability to function properly, which can be life-threatening for both the mother and the baby. However, fetal therapy offers a preventative solution for these circumstances, providing physicians with the ability to detect heart conditions during routine prenatal screenings and other specific diagnostic tests. 

For unborn babies with rare heart defects, fetal therapy offers an array of interventions to diagnose and treat conditions while they are still in the womb. Some therapies that your healthcare team can offer include: 

  • Fetal Echocardiography: This non-invasive imaging technique allows doctors to assess the baby’s heart structure and function. It helps identify specific heart defects and guides them in providing treatment options for the mother. 
  • In-Utero Cardiac Intervention: In certain cases, minimally invasive procedures can be performed in the womb to address certain heart defects. For example, balloon valvuloplasty can widen a narrowed heart valve or septal ablation to treat heart septal defects. 
  • Fetal Surgery: Open-fetal surgery may also be recommended in more complex cases, which involves accessing the baby’s heart in utero to repair or alleviate the heart defect to help improve circulation and prevent further damage to the developing heart. 

Fetal therapy is crucial in supporting women with high-risk pregnancies by providing specialized care and interventions to address those complications and offer the best outcomes possible. Some of the ways fetal-medicine specialists work with fetal therapy include: 

  • Early Detection: Fetal therapy involves advanced diagnostic techniques, such as ultrasound and fetal imaging, to identify potential issues early on and provide timely intervention for high-risk conditions. 
  • Preparation For Treatment: Fetal therapy can provide various treatment options to assist and treat the condition while the baby is still in the womb. 
  • Premature Birth Prevention: Some high-risk pregnancies are associated with a higher likelihood of preterm labor, and with fetal therapy, certain interventions can be provided, such as cervical cerclage or medication. 
  • Fetal Growth Restriction Management: Fetal growth restrictions cause problems with the baby’s expected growth rate in the womb, and fetal therapy can allow specialists to provide monitoring and interventions such as fetal blood transfusions and nutrient supplementation to assist the baby’s growth. 
  • Multidisciplinary Approach: Fetal therapy often involves a multidisciplinary team. It combines the collaborative approach of maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists, pediatric surgeons, and other care professionals to help you and your unborn baby through complex conditions such as rare heart defects. 

Visit Rosenberg Maternal-Fetal Medicine For Your First Consultation

At Rosenberg Maternal-Fetal Medicine, we understand the complexities and emotional im[pacts that rare heart defects can have. Our dedicated team of maternal-fetal medicine specialists is here to support you every step and offer specialized care for fetal conditions and other risk factors that come with high-risk pregnancies. If you have concerns about a rare heart defect in your unborn baby or want to explore the options available through fetal therapy, we encourage you to contact Rosenberg Maternal Fetal Medicine at Hewlett, NY: (516) 501-9840 or Suffern, NY: (845) 764-9880 today.