Collaboration Is Key to Fetal Care Center's Success
Exciting times are ahead for the Fetal Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s, a regional and national leader in maternal-fetal medicine and fetal surgery. In partnership with local health systems, including TriHealth and UC Health, the Fetal Care Center is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the world and treats a variety of fetal conditions and abnormalities. Some of these conditions include brain and spine, head and neck, heart, chest, gastrointestinal, kidney, genitourinary, extremity and complications of multiple gestation.
Jose Piero, MD, PhD
Since opening in February 2004, more than 8,000 evaluations and 1,900 procedures have been performed at the center, covering the full spectrum of fetal conditions. Our team has performed over 1,300 fetoscopic procedures—more than most other programs in the nation.
Leading the center is Foong-Yen Lim, MD, (Cincinnati Children’s) surgical director of the center; Jose Peiro, MD, PhD, (Cincinnati Children’s) endoscopic fetal surgery director; Mounira Habli, MD, (TriHealth) maternal-fetal medicine clinical director; David McKinney, MD, (UC Health) maternal-fetal medicine outreach and education director, and Beth Rymeski, DO, (Cincinnati Children’s) associate surgical director. Drs. Habli, McKinney and Rymeski are new additions to the leadership team at the center. The collaboration of the three health systems allows for the best experts in the Tristate in both adult and pediatric medicine to come together to deliver the best care for every mother and baby that needs it.
The center is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of experts that collaborate to provide continuous, consistent care. Specialists from Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Genetics, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Radiology, Social Services, Urology and many others encompass this team. Through our family-centered approach to care, our nurse coordinators, who specialize in fetal care, create a personalized program and provide proper education to fit the needs of every baby. In addition, the center offers:
- Comprehensive evaluations to determine a child’s condition
- Advanced diagnostics that offer the greatest amount of detail and information
- Innovative interventions with the most sophisticated, effective treatment options
- A special delivery unit equipped to care for specific needs during childbirth
- Breakthrough research that reveals leading-edge therapy options to improve patient outcomes
Foong-Yen Lim, MD
David McKinney, MD
As one of only a few comprehensive fetal surgery centers in the US with the expertise to perform the full range of fetal surgical interventions, we house a dedicated fetal surgery unit at Cincinnati Children’s. The operating rooms are specifically designed for open fetal surgery, minimally invasive fetoscopic surgery and complex ex-utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT) procedures. To ensure the best possible outcomes, the center’s unique design and inclusion of surgical equipment, medical video equipment, voice activation and image management solutions enable our surgeons to operate with the highest level of efficiency and communication.
The center was even recognized by patients as the top inpatient unit at Cincinnati Children’s for outstanding patient and family experience in 2021-2022. Our clinicians play an integral role for parents and soon-to-be parents. Families come to the center for care that begins even before the child is born and continues well after birth.
Over the past five years, case volumes have exponentially increased. From new patients and referrals to the number of fetal surgeries and deliveries, the center has continued to grow based on the needs of our community. From July 2021 to June 2022, there were 157 total deliveries, five times the amount just four years earlier. During this same time, the center scheduled over 4,000 appointments, and that number is expected to be eclipsed later in 2023. This exciting growth has called for additional space at the main hospital on the Burnet Campus. As a result, and so that every family can receive the care they need, the center will be expanding. The first part of the expansion is adding capacity on B4, including a new triage room, three LDRP (Labor, Delivery, Recovery Postpartum) rooms, a full on-call suite with four sleep rooms and a fetal operating room that will include its own infant resuscitation unit. B4 will also have a direct pathway to the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital.
A brand-new antepartum unit will be completed early in 2024 on B6. Seven antepartum rooms will be added for moms who need to be monitored in the hospital prior to their deliveries. There will also be a family resource lounge and multipurpose room for families to congregate outside of patient rooms for events like baby showers, birthday parties and larger family visits.
Lastly, the construction project will include expansion of the two outpatient clinics run by the center—fetal care and obstetrics. Once renovations are complete, the total capacity for the outpatient clinics will include additional rooms for exams, procedures, ultrasounds, imaging, sonography and family waiting. All these new additions to the center will enhance the world-class care already being delivered by our experts and will ensure no family has to leave Cincinnati to get the care they need.
Our Fetal Care Center is one of many examples of the expert collaboration that goes on every day at Cincinnati Children’s, giving families hope for the most complex fetal conditions or high-risk pregnancies and deliveries.
Mounira Habli, MD
Beth Rymeski, DO