When the path of pregnancy strays toward complication and serious risk, the maternal-fetal medicine physicians of UT Southwestern’s High-Risk Pregnancy and Genetics Program provide a full spectrum of diagnostic and treatment options to women and their physicians.
The multidisciplinary team includes specialists with advanced training in maternal-fetal medicine, along with experts in neonatology, pediatric surgery, pediatric cardiology, and other pediatric subspecialties. Recognized nationally for their care and management of women with complicated pregnancies, they provide specialized in-utero therapeutic procedures as well as ex-utero intrapartum treatment for certain fetal conditions.
And, unlike many maternal-fetal specialists elsewhere, they also care for and deliver high-risk patients
“We accept prenatal patients whose pregnancies require a higher level of care due to either maternal or fetal complications,” says Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, M.D., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medical Director of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Clinic.
The High-Risk Pregnancy and Genetics Program offers the latest diagnostic techniques to evaluate a woman’s risk factors, including preconceptional counseling and genetic testing to identify inherited risks, high resolution 3-D and 4-D ultrasound to visualize the baby’s development, and prenatal procedures such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.
Over the past 10 years, Dr. Twickler has read and interpreted more than 2,000 fetal MR images.
In addition, UT Southwestern is one of only a handful of medical institutions in the country offering fetal MRI for particularly complex cases that require a higher degree of resolution, says Diane Twickler, M.D., Professor of Radiology, who also holds a dual appointment in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Over the past 10 years, Dr. Twickler has read and interpreted more than 2,000 fetal MR images, making her one of the country’s leading experts in the procedure.
“We can do fetal MRI at anytime throughout gestation, but the preferred times are to answer important clinical questions at 21 to 22 weeks, or to anticipate what is going to happen closer to delivery, usually around 32 to 34 weeks,” Dr. Twickler says. “Usually, I am asked to answer a very specific question, as opposed to global information that an ultrasound can answer. Referring physicians want to look deeper and make sure there is nothing else going on.”
Examples of the types of conditions that Dr. Twickler investigates include problems with the central nervous system or head, problems with the chest or kidneys, congenital diaphragmatic hernias, and complications of twinning.
Her advanced training in both radiology and obstetrics and gynecology imaging offers referring physicians and patients alike an advantage in dealing with complex maternal-fetal cases—“Most places do not have people trained in both areas,” she says—as do the extensive resources of UT Southwestern.
Ambulatory Services for High-risk Patients
UT Southwestern is one of just 14 centers nationwide selected by the National Institutes of Health to participate in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, a national consortium that focuses on health care outcomes of pregnant women and their infants.
Specialists in the High-Risk Pregnancy and Genetics Program offer a full range of outpatient services on the UT Southwestern campus. Referring physicians can call 877-UTSWMFM (877-887-9636) to facilitate:
- First trimester screening
- Routine and targeted 3- and 4-D ultrasound
- Prenatal genetic counseling
- Fetal blood sampling
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
- Evaluation and consultation
- Coordination of care—prenatal assessment, delivery planning, postnatal management
- Transfer of total obstetric care
Outpatient services are also available at the UT Southwestern Maternal-Fetal Medicine office at Children’s Medical Center at Legacy in Plano. Call 469-303-3591 for appointments or information on the Legacy location.