At Mayo Clinic, if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you will be cared for by the fetal and maternal care team.
The maternal and fetal medicine experts at Mayo Clinic offer you the most advanced treatment and care for complex maternal and fetal diseases in pregnancy. The clinic's multidisciplinary team of doctors includes those trained in treating pregnant women with complex problems (maternal-fetal medicine specialists), experts in treating children with congenital conditions (neonatologists, pediatric surgeons, neurosurgeons, urologists, nephrologists, neonatologists) and specialists with extensive experience in fetal surgery. These specialists complement obstetrical care providers and can co-manage complex conditions before or during pregnancy.
A dedicated team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals ensures the coordinated approach necessary for intrauterine therapy when appropriate and optimal planning for delivery and neonatal care. You will receive support from a compassionate team of providers including dietitians, genetics counselors, social workers and nurse specialists.
Fetal care team
The doctors, nurses and allied health professionals of the fetal care team use a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to help women experiencing high-risk pregnancies. They use advanced imaging techniques to accurately diagnose babies with birth defects prenatally and connect parents with neonatologists and pediatric subspecialists when needed. This team of experts works with you to develop a treatment plan specific to your situation, such as any needed intrauterine therapy and the route and timing of delivery. Your care team also coordinates a smooth care transition for your baby.
Tests and procedures
At Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minnesota, you will find a specialized multidisciplinary fetal surgery team trained to care for women with pregnancies complicated by all forms of fetal distress and abnormalities. Improvements in prenatal testing, imaging and technology have provided maternal-fetal medicine specialists with new tools to address these conditions.
Fetal surgery is a procedure in which surgery is performed on an unborn baby (fetus) in the mother's uterus. It may be an option for some mothers to improve the long-term outcome after delivery. Fetal surgery gives the physician the ability to intervene earlier to treat life-threatening birth defects. In some cases, fetal surgery has better results than surgery after delivery. These procedures are complex and require skilled teams, advanced facilities and comprehensive care for the mother and her unborn baby.
Many birth defects can be treated in utero at Mayo Clinic, including:
- Amniotic band syndrome
- Bronchopulmonary sequestration of the lung
- Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM) of the lung
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
- Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome
- Fetal anemias
- Intrauterine transfusion
- Lower urinary tract obstruction
- Mediastinal teratoma
- Neck mass
- Sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT)
- Spina bifida (myelomeningocele)
- Twin reversed arterial perfusion (TRAP) sequence
- Twin-twin transfusion syndrome
Methods for treating these conditions at Mayo Clinic include:
Maternal care team
The maternal care team uses a coordinated, multidisciplinary team approach to help women experiencing high-risk pregnancies. Services include:
- Care and counseling before pregnancy begins (preconception care) for women who have increased medical, surgical or genetic risks
- Integrated care for chronic conditions during pregnancy:
- Obstetric complications:
Researchers of the maternal and fetal medicine specialty group engage in research on the effective use of health care resources to help people who are pregnant. They have advanced the field with research in preterm labor assessment, fetal assessment during maternal surgery, effective use of blood products during pregnancy, decreasing maternal exposure to radiation, placenta previa and abnormal placentation, integration or acculturation, and fetal surgery.
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