Using the procedures described above, many congenital anomalies can be diagnosed before birth. However, no prenatal examination can detect all possible diseases or malformations in the child. The predictive value of ultrasound examinations depends, for example, on stage of pregnancy, fetal position, placental position, amount of amniotic fluid, abdominal wall thickness, quality of the ultrasound equipment used, and the experience of the examiner.
In most cases, the results of prenatal diagnostic examinations are normal, which allays any justified or unjustified fears parents have, and allow the parents to experience the further course of pregnancy more calmly.
In some types of congenital anomalies such as serious heart defects and spinal or abdominal fissures, the results of treatment and prognosis can be significantly improved by optimized treatment during pregnancy, at birth, and in the immediate postnatal period thanks to prenatal diagnosis. Certain serious conditions in the child such as cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac insufficiency ("weak heart"), heart defects, blood diseases, infections, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), spina bifida, or diaphragmatic hernia may also be treated successfully before birth.
Using ultrasound and Doppler sonography, it is also possible to detect growth retardation and a threat to the fetus posed by placental insufficiency (functional disturbance of the placenta). In such cases, harm to the child can be avoided by intensifying monitoring during pregnancy or by inducing birth before term.
If abnormal findings occur in one of the examinations carried out, we offer comprehensive consultation in our own practice and with specialists from the related field (e.g., neonatal medicine, pediatric surgery, pediatric cardiology, cardiac surgery, genetics), and, upon request, can put parents in touch with others similarly affected, self-help groups and other advice centers.
In special risk situations (e.g., inherited diseases or handicaps in the family), we recommend early genetic counseling.
We would be pleased to answer any questions you have in a personal consultation.
Your Team of Pränatalzentrum Stuttgart