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.
The FDS team works 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 when appropriate, a care plan for the delivery
- Counselling and emotional support
- Discussion of options in cases where the family is considering termination of pregnancy
- Referral for management of care when a woman requests termination of pregnancy
What will happen at the appointment?
Each woman will have a detailed ultrasound exam to confirm or rule out the suspected abnormality. She may also have a fetal echocardiogram, to take a detailed look at the fetal heart. In addition, we will collect information about the patient's family, pregnancy and medical history to allow for complete assessment of the possible cause of any abnormalities.
The FDS team will review the information from the ultrasound and histories, and discuss the results with the patient and family.
What will happen once a diagnosis is made?
The FDS team 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.