All pregnant women want to be assured that their fetus has no major birth
defects or chromosomal abnormalities, especially those who have had children
with birth defects or pregnant women over a certain age (35+). Recent
advances in genetics have enabled us to perform screenings for fetal chromosomal
abnormalities and other birth defects. Screening studies are informative;
however, they do not provide definitive answers.
Women want to be 100% sure about a fetal diagnosis. For those women, Chorionic
Villous Sampling (CVS), done as early as 11-13 weeks gestation, can provide
Maternal Fetal Medicine is one of a few prenatal diagnostic centers in the state of VA that has
the capability and experience of performing CVS in the first trimester
of pregnancy and beyond. Chorionic Villous Sampling is a well established
and a safe procedure where a small piece of chorionic villi (placenta)
is obtained under ultrasound guidance. It can be performed either trans-cervically
by inserting a thin plastic catheter through the mouth of the womb or
trans-abdominally with a thin needle similar to an amniocentesis. The
method of CVS depends on the placental location and the shape of the womb,
but can be offered to most pregnant woman.
CVS affords patients the opportunity of finding out the information they
seek (and in most cases piece of mind) early on in their pregnancies.
The results of the genetic studies are very accurate. Chorionic Villous
Sampling is a safe procedure and the risk of complications is very low.
The physician perinatologists and the genetic counselor at Maternal Fetal
Medicine counsel all patients extensively about the available screening
or diagnostic studies so that patients and their families can make a well
informed decision about the best possible approach to answer the hard
questions associated with fetal abnormalities, birth defects and chromosomal
abnormalities. No matter the questions or the possible solutions, we only
provide the information. We always leave it up to the patients to decide
what they want to do.
If you’ve ever chosen genetic or fetal testing; are you glad you
chose to? Would you recommend this testing to other pregnant women?
For information regarding prenatal diagnosis and screening and other services
for high risk obstetrical patients, attend a free seminar on High Risk
Pregnancy or call Maternal Fetal Medicine at 540-741-3260.