The Fetal Diagnosis Service (FDS) assists women and their families when an abnormality has been detected on a prenatal ultrasound exam. It is important that families facing this situation have the support and information they need to understand the problem with their fetus, and how best to manage it.
This service is made up of physicians from Medical Genetics, Maternal Fetal Medicine, and Pediatrics, along with ultrasound technicians and genetic counsellors, who work together to provide:
- Rapid and accurate diagnosis of fetal abnormalities
- Additional consultations and diagnostic procedures as required
- Discussion of possible treatments, and risks and benefits of all treatment options
- Development of a care plan for the duration of the pregnancy, including possible fetal treatments, and with the involvement of appropriate pediatric specialists, a care plan for the baby when it is born
- Counselling and emotional support
- Discussion of options in cases where the family is considering termination of pregnancy
- Referral for management of care when a family requests termination of pregnancy
Referrals and criteria
To refer a patient, complete the Fetal Diagnosis Service Referral Form (28 kb, PDF) and fax it, along with all prenatal records, to 604-875-3484.
Read this document for information about the referral criteria for the FDS clinic (36 kb, PDF), and for any other information, please contact the FDS coordinator at 604-875-2848.
What will happen at the appointment?
Clinics are held three days per week at BC Women’s Hospital.
Each woman will have a detailed level III ultrasound exam to confirm or rule out the suspected ultrasound abnormality. She may also have a fetal echocardiogram to take a detailed look at the fetal heart. In addition, we will collect the patient's family, pregnancy and medical history to allow complete assessment of the possible cause of any abnormalities.
The FDS team will review the information from the ultrasound and histories. The team includes:
- a genetic counsellor
- a physician from Medical Genetics (Geneticist)
- a physician from Maternal Fetal Medicine (Perinatologist)
- and the physician who performed the ultrasound (Radiologist or Perinatologist)
What will happen once a diagnosis is made?
The Fetal Diagnosis Service staff works with the family to plan the next steps. There may be additional tests offered, or consultations with other specialists.
Many families find this to be a very stressful and difficult time. Our goal is to ensure that families receive as much information as they need and that we answer all questions as completely as possible. We will give families information about the available options to help them make the decisions that are best for them.