Fetal Therapy

This information is useful for children and adults
Why Yale Medicine?
  • Only Fetal Care Center in the state and one of few in the Northeast caring for fetal anomalies.
  • First and only center in the state to treat a rare disorder for identical twins using a laser.
  • Comprehensive care for patients from prenatal to post-natal stages.

With advancements in noninvasive imaging and surgical techniques, it is now possible to treat many problems in a fetus before birth.

For more than four decades, Yale Medicine has been at the forefront of advances in fetal care, including the use of Chorionic villus sampling (CVS), a technique for detecting abnormalities; blood sampling and transfusion; anemia assessment; and surgery.

Our Fetal Care Center, which is the only of its kind in the state and one of few in the Northeast, offers comprehensive services to women whose unborn babies have anomalies and conditions that can be treated in utero. After birth, we collaborate closely with pediatric specialists and neonatologists who are skilled at treating ill or premature infants in Yale New Haven Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

"What sets us apart is our multidisciplinary nature with pediatric subspecialists ready to help," says Mert Ozan Bahtiyar, MD, director of the Fetal Care Center and associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine. "We have a harmonious and seamless transition from prenatal to postnatal care." 

Fetal therapy, also known as fetal treatment, is a branch of fetal medicine that involves the diagnosis and treatment of fetal abnormalities.

It includes medical interventions—such as medications given to the mother to cross the placenta and reach the fetus—and surgical interventions to help an unborn baby that might die or be disabled if no action was taken.

Advanced fetal therapy, which includes treatments offered at our Fetal Care Center, is a relatively new field of medicine, dating back to the 1980s. Because of the complexities and risks of surgical and medical interventions for mother and child, such procedures are only handled at specialized centers such as ours, which is staffed by skilled and experienced physicians, surgeons and nurses.

Issues that require fetal therapy are usually discovered during routine prenatal exams. Your primary ob-gyn can identify any concerns and refer you to Fetal Care Center for further exams and consultation.