Pre-natal Diagnostics

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pregnant women whose babies are at risk for certain diseases can have diagnostic testing done before the delivery. Dr. Edward Hill discusses some of these tests in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Women over 35 have an increased risk of having a child with a genetic abnormality. Pre-natal testing can reveal valuable information about your and your babys health.

Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling, or CVS, are tests that diagnose genetic abnormalities and other problems in the baby before birth. Certain conditions can be treated before the baby is born. Other conditions may require special treatment for the baby after delivery.

Down syndrome, spina bifida, sickle cell anemia, Tay Sachs Disease, cystic fibrosis and other problems can be detected before delivery. Amniocentesis is performed by inserting a thin needle through the abdomen into the uterus and withdrawing a small amount of fluid from around the baby. CVS is done by inserting a thin needle through the abdomen or cervix and taking a sample of the placenta.

Both these diagnostic tests carry a small risk of injuring the mother or the fetus. Before considering these tests you and your doctor should weigh the benefits against the risks.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.