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Fetal Surgery

Fetal Surgery is one of many outstanding perinatal services offered at NYU Winthrop Hospital’s New York State-designated Regional Perinatal Center on Long Island. In fact, NYU Winthrop offers the only Fetal Surgery program on Long Island. Fetal surgery encompasses a broad range of surgical techniques used by our fetal surgeon-specialists to treat birth defects in fetuses prior to childbirth.

Regional Leader in Fetal Surgery

Fetal Surgery is an option for pregnancies in the presence of a surgically treatable fetal abnormality discovered very early in gestation which, if left untreated in-utero, would cause progressive and irreversible fetal damage as pregnancy progresses to term.

The mission of our Fetal Evaluation and Treatment Team is to provide the best care and treatment options for complicated pregnancies through comprehensive evaluation and, when appropriate, in-utero treatment by our highly skilled fetal surgeon and surgical team.

NYU Winthrop’s multidisciplinary Fetal Surgery team of specialists includes: maternal-fetal medicine specialist, primary obstetrician, perinatal sonographer, neonatologist, geneticist, obstetrical anesthesiologist, obstetrical nurse, as well as the assistance of pediatric subspecialties and social workers.

Fetal Conditions Targeted for In-Utero Fetal Surgery

  • Fetal anemia
  • Fetal thrombocytopenia
  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome
  • Twin reverse arterial perfusion syndrome
  • Lower urinary tract obstruction
  • Pleural effusions
  • Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM)    

Fetal Surgery Procedures

NYU Winthrop’s fetal surgeons perform:

  • Needle aspiration of fetal compartment
  • Radio frequency ablation
  • Percutaneous fetal shunt placement
  • Fetoscopic laser photocoagulation of placental/fetal/umbilical vessels for twin to twin transfusion syndrome
  • Fetal transfusion

New York State-designated Regional Perinatal Center

By designating NYU Winthrop Hospital as a Regional Perinatal Center, the New York State Department of Health recognizes NYU Winthrop’s commitment to delivering the highest level of obstetrical and perinatal care and specialized services for high-risk mothers and babies. As a regional referral center for obstetric and neonatal complications from affiliate hospitals, we provide and coordinate regional transfers of high-risk newborns and maternal-fetal patients.

A High-Risk Obstetrics Patient’s Story

Maria Elliott had suffered from severe Rh Disease during her last pregnancy—a condition that results when Rh-negative blood is exposed to Rh-positive blood cells, leading to the development of Rh antibodies. These Rh antibodies travel through the placenta and attack a baby’s red blood cells, posing life-threatening complications such as severe anemia, cardiac failure and fetal death.

Ten years later when she learned she was pregnant again, her OB/GYN physician Peman Zandieh, MD, contacted the perinatal specialists at NYU Winthrop’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department. “With its dedicated team of experts including doctors and nurses who specialize in high-risk pregnancy, modern facilities and equipment, and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that can support any complication, NYU Winthrop’s comprehensive obstetrical program was the perfect place for Mrs. Elliott,” said Dr. Zandieh.

Elliot was given a rare, advanced treatment plan available in select hospitals nationwide, without which the chance of early in-utero fetal death would be extremely high.

The treatments were a complete success. Elliott gave birth to her son, Elijah. He spent a few days in NYU Winthrop’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and required follow-up treatment. Yet today Elijah is a vibrant 14-month-old who is making full progress thanks to the extraordinary care that he and his mother received at NYU Winthrop.