An obstetrician detects something wrong with how an unborn baby’s heart is developing, typically at the
The mother is sent to a maternal-fetal medicine doctor, or MFM, for confirmation of the diagnosis, who then refers the patient to a fetal cardiologist.
The fetal cardiologist conducts a detailed fetal echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). During the same visit, the mother and family receive in-depth counseling regarding the diagnosis and its medical and surgical implications, including the need for three-stage surgeries.
The medical team will discuss surgical steps and outcomes for each stage, as well as the long-term cardiovascular and neurodevelopmental expectations for the infant.
The mother and family members engage in multidisciplinary counseling with fetal cardiology, neonatology and maternal-fetal medicine physicians to discuss the labor and delivery plan.
Genetic counseling is also offered.
The mother and family members are seen during follow-up appointments at the Fetal Cardiology clinic every four to six weeks to check on the fetus’ heart through a series of fetal echocardiograms.