Conditions we Treat
Moderate TOTAL Trial
Texas Children’s Fetal Center® in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine is the first center in the United States to participate in the Moderate TOTAL trial. We are now enrolling pregnant women expecting a baby with moderate congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Learn More
A vast range of conditions can be treated before birth because of the expertise at Texas Children’s Fetal Center®
While most birth defects are best managed with medical therapy during pregnancy or with surgery immediately after birth, an increasing number of anatomic abnormalities can be corrected before birth to reduce some of the life-threatening or devastating consequences of these defects.
Our team of experts evaluate and treat the following conditions:
Abdominal wall defects
Amniotic band syndrome
Amniotic band syndrome is a rare condition characterized by sheets or strands of fetal membranes (amnion) which become wrapped around parts of the fetus restricting growth and development of these areas. These bands may wrap around the extremities limiting blood flow and resulting in amputation. After birth, these babies may be missing fingers, toes, and parts of upper or lower extremeties. Other parts of the fetus may also be affected resulting in deformities in the region of head, chest, abdomen and cleft lip and palate. The condition could eventually lead to fetal death if the strands are wrapped around the umbilical cord.
Congenital airway obstruction (CHAOS)
A condition where the upper airway (larynx or trachea) of the fetus is obstructed due to either congenital absence or blockage. Airway blockage results in accumulation of fluid in the fetal airway and lungs with massively enlarged lungs, a flattened diaphragm. Overdistended lungs compress the fetal heart and could lead fetal heart failure and hydrops which is accumulation of fluid in the body cavities and skin.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
A defect in the formation of the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen) during development, resulting in a hole in the diaphragm that allows passage of abdominal organs into the chest compressing the chest structures. CDH is typically associated with small, poorly developed lungs.
For the most serious and medically complex cases of CDH, we offer a cutting-edge fetal interventional procedure called fetal endoscopic tracheal occlusion (FETO), with a potential to dramatically improve neonatal survival and lung growth prior to birth.
Duodenal and intestinal atresia
These are congenital defects involving blockage in parts of intestine beyond the stomach.
Esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula
It involves blockage in the swallowing tube (esophagus) with or without abnormal communication with the breathing tube (trachea).
Fetal cardiac conditions
- Congenital heart block
- Congenital heart disease
- Fetal cardiac arrhythmia
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
Fetal hydrothorax is a condition in which fluid accumulates in the fetal chest, in the space between the lungs and the chest wall (known as the pleural space) which can sometimes cause serious compression of the vital chest structures including the heart and lungs.
Giant neck masses
Rarely, a mass may develop in the fetus’ neck. Most often this condition is caused by either lymphatic malformations or tumors such as teratomas. In other circumstances, extremely rare abnormalities or tumeros are encountered such as (neuroblastoma, cervical thymic cyst, hemangioma or other lesion).
An abnormality may be detected in the fetal chest or lung. In some instances, the lesion may look like a solid mass, while in other cases, the lesion looks more cystic (containing fluid-filled spaces). Many doctors may use the term “CCAM”, which stands for congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation, to refer to many lung masses in the fetus.
Maternal immune disorders affecting the fetus
The term hydrops fetalis, or fetal hydrops, refers to a condition in which the fetus shows signs of fluid accumulation in the body. Hydrops is defined as the presence of abnormal fluid in at least 2 spaces where it is not supposed to be, such as in the abdominal cavity (ascites), chest cavity (pleural effusion), cavity around the heart (pericardial effusion) or in the skin or scalp (referred to as edema).
Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT) is a tumor, or growth, from the coccyx (tailbone). It is the most common type of tumor in newborns, occurring in one in 35,000 births. SCT is found more often in girls than boys.
There are more than 350 different types of skeletal dysplasia disorders, but it generally means that some or all of the fetal bones are smaller than expected for the fetal age.
Small bowel obstruction
Small bowel obstruction is a blockage of the fetal small intestine. It can be partial or complete, and it can occur in any part of the small intestine.
Spina bifida (Myelomeningocele)
Myelomeningocele, the most common form of spina bifida, is a class of problems referred to as open neural tube defects (ONTD). Spina bifida is one of the most common birth defects.
- Selective Intrauterine Growth Restriction (sIUGR)
- TRAP Sequence (Acardiac Twin)
- Twin-Twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)
- Twin Anemia Polycythemia sequence (TAPS)