DALLAS – Medical City Children’s Hospital has opened a comprehensive Fetal Care Center that provides the highest level of comprehensive prenatal diagnosis and the full spectrum of fetal surgical procedures for unborn babies with complex and life-threatening birth defects.

The Fetal Care Center at Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas is one of only a handful of centers in the world with the capability to perform the full range of fetal interventions, from ultrasound-guided procedures, fetoscopic surgery to open fetal surgery and EXIT procedures. Physicians can treat the most severe form of spina bifida, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, sacrococcygeal teratoma, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and many other complex conditions. A multi-disciplinary team of specialists cares for these delicate patients, including maternal-fetal specialists, fetal-neonatal surgeons, neonatologists, pediatric cardiologists and specialized, highly trained fetal nurses.

A pioneer in maternal-fetal surgery, world-renowned surgeon Timothy M. Crombleholme, MD, has joined the staff of Medical City Children’s Hospital and is among a handful of physicians nationwide qualified to perform open fetal surgery, which involves operating on the baby within the mother’s womb. Dr. Crombleholme is nationally recognized for his clinical expertise involving twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a rare and serious condition that can occur in pregnancies when identical twins share a placenta, congenital diaphragmatic hernia spina bifida among others.

Of the approximately 4 million babies born in the United States each year, about 120,000 (3 percent) have a complex birth defect that may be treated or addressed through fetal intervention or fetal surgery.

“The opening of the Fetal Care Center at Medical City Children’s Hospital brings a groundbreaking healthcare service to moms and babies in North Texas,” said Bill Lee, CEO of Medical City Children’s Hospital. “Dr. Crombleholme’s ability to perform these intricate surgeries now brings vital fetal surgery capabilities to North Texas families. With Medical City Dallas on the same campus as our children’s hospital, we are uniquely capable of treating women’s complex maternal needs and high-risk babies under one roof.”

Medical City Dallas is one of only two hospitals in Texas offering this complex service to patients. In addition, Medical City Children’s Hospital is a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), providing the highest level of care to the most medically fragile infants.

Click here for a photo of Dr. Crombleholme.

The Fetal Care Center is being launched in conjunction with the opening of Medical City Dallas’ new $125 million Women’s Hospital to serve women with a wide variety of complex healthcare needs, from labor and delivery to gynecology surgery and cancer care.