Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment

The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment provides complete care for women carrying babies with known birth defects, from diagnosis and prenatal management through fetal surgery, delivery and care after birth. Our experts, including world leaders in fetal therapy and maternal-fetal medicine specialists, work together to provide the best possible care for mother and baby. Our team is among the most experienced in the world at treating complex birth defects.

Conditions Treated

We treat a wide variety of complex birth defects, including:

  • Abdominal wall defects
  • Amniotic band syndrome
  • Cleft lip/cleft palate
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
  • Congenital high airway obstruction syndrome (CHAOS)
  • Congenital hyperinsulinism
  • Gastrointestinal anomalies
  • Genetic disorders
  • Genitourinary defects
  • Lung lesions
  • Micrognathia
  • Musculoskeletal anomalies
  • Neck masses
  • Neurological anomalies
  • Spina bifida (myelomeningocele)
  • Teratomas
  • Twin and multiples
  • Congenital heart anomalies

Advanced Diagnostic Tools

Because accurate diagnosis is essential to planning treatment, we will perform tests to establish or confirm the suspected condition. Our team uses highly specialized equipment and follows specific imaging protocols developed by our Fetal Imaging Center to ensure that the best images possible are obtained during each stage of pregnancy, allowing for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of fetal anomalies.

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Ultrasound – Specially trained fetal radiologists and dedicated fetal sonographers provide detailed high-resolution fetal ultrasound, including 3-D and 4-D imaging.
  • Fetal echocardiogram – Specially trained fetal cardiologists and dedicated fetal sonographers perform more than 3,700 of these noninvasive studies each year to assess the structure and function of the fetal heart.
  • Ultrafast fetal MRI – An imaging technique advanced at CHOP that can include 3-D MRI reconstruction. It requires no sedation of the mother or fetus.
  • Low-dose fetal CT scan – A technology pioneered at CHOP that has one-tenth the radiation of conventional CT and makes evaluation and diagnosis quicker, safer and more efficient

Fetal Interventions

The center is one of only a few programs worldwide to offer open fetal surgery for life-threatening conditions, as well as a variety
of other fetal interventions. The center’s team has performed more than 1,520 fetal surgeries — more than any other program in the world.

Fetal surgeries offered include:

  • Bladder and chest shunt placement
  • Fetoscopic surgery
  • Fetoscopic laser ablation (LASER)
  • Fetoscopic bipolar cord coagulation (BCC)
  • Fetoscopic radio frequency ablation (RFA)
  • Open fetal surgery
  • Ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT)
  • Fetal cardiac intervention
  • C-section
  • IMPACT procedure

World-class Facilities

The Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit (SDU), the world’s first birthing facility dedicated to healthy mothers carrying babies with known birth defects, offers comprehensive care from a highly experienced, multidisciplinary team before, during and after fetal surgery, as well as complete labor and delivery services during a baby’s delivery. Complete obstetrical care is provided by our experienced staff of obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, anesthesiologists, obstetric nurses and others. Support services and counseling to help with relocation issues such as housing, travel, insurance, financial matters and emotional support are also available.

The Harriet and Ronald Lassin Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) provides care for critically ill newborns and infants, and is equipped with the latest technology and advances in neonatal medicine. This surgical N/IICU is staffed by experienced advanced practice nurses, attending neonatologists and pediatric surgeons day and night to provide specialized care to infants with surgical disease.

Featured Faculty

Scott Adzick, MD, MMM, FACS, FAAPScott Adzick, MD, MMM, FACS, FAAP

N. Scott Adzick, MD, MMM, FACS, FAAP, is the Surgeon-in-chief and the Founder and Director of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.

Areas of expertise: clinical applications of fetal diagnosis and therapy, endocrine surgery, neonatal surgery, pectus surgery, surgical treatment of hyperinsulinism, thoracic surgery, thyroid and parathyroid surgery

Alan Flake, MDAlan Flake, MD

Alan Flake, MD, is an Attending Surgeon in the Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery. He is also the Director of the Center for Fetal Research and the Ruth M. and Tristram C. Colket Jr. Endowed Chair, Pediatric Surgery.

Areas of expertise: clinical applications of fetal diagnosis and therapy, delicate surgical techniques, neonatal surgery, fetal stem cell and gene therapy

Holly L. Hedrick, MD, FACSHolly L. Hedrick, MD, FACS

Holly Hedrick, MD, is an Attending Pediatric and Fetal Surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Areas of expertise: clinical applications of fetal diagnosis and therapy, ECMO, laparoscopy and thoracoscopy, neonatal surgery, oncology, thoracic surgery

Julie S. Moldenhauer, MD, FACOG, FACMGJulie S. Moldenhauer, MD, FACOG, FACMG

Julie S. Moldenhauer, MD, FACOG, FACMG, is Medical Director of the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit and an Attending High-risk Obstetrician at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.

Areas of expertise: fetal genetic disorders, prenatal diagnosis and fetal therapy

Mark P. Johnson, MD, MSMark P. Johnson, MD, MS

Mark Johnson, MD, is the Director of Obstetrical Services at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment.

Areas of expertise: fetal obstructive uropathy, prenatal diagnosis and therapy

Contact Us

Reach an International Care Coordinator at: