11th Annual Fetal Surgery Family Reunion Gathers Families from Across the U.S. and Canada

June 29, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Philadelphia, PA – June 29, 2007 – Hundreds of families gathered today to celebrate at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for the 11h Annual Fetal Surgery Family Reunion. The reunion gathers together families who have been followed by the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at Children’s Hospital. Nearly all of the children attending were prenatally diagnosed with a birth defect that had potentially devastating outcomes. Ten families attended the Center’s first reunion for current and former fetal patients in 1997; more than 120 families attended the 11th annual reunion today!

At the reunion, each family designed a square tile that will be incorporated into a mosaic art piece located in the waiting area of the new Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, the first of its kind in the world. The mural is designed to provide a sense of hope to Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit families and visitors.

“Seeing families return each year and watching the children grow is inspiring,” says N. Scott Adzick, M.D. surgeon-in-chief at Children’s Hospital and medical director of the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. “At the reunion we get to update families on what we’re doing and hear the events that are happening in their lives as well. This year we are thrilled to update families on the progress of the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit.”

Every three-and-a-half minutes parents hear that their baby has a birth defect; they affect one in 33 children born in the U.S. So, when an anticipated ultrasound ends in long pauses, note taking, whispers and diagnoses like: gastroschisis, giant omphalocele, congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), among others; parents are scared and may not receive the latest treatment options available. There is hope and help for babies with birth defects and the clinicians and staff at The Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at Children’s Hospital are at the ready to help families with questions get the answers and the help they need – quickly!

As one of only a few centers in the world of its kind, the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia offers a wide range of comprehensive fetal surgery services that support patients from the evaluation stages to follow-up care. The Center was established in 1995 and has received over 8000 referrals from all 50 states and 46 countries and performed over 400 fetal surgery operations including more than 70 EXIT (ex utero intrapartum therapy) operations, a special delivery technique developed by fetal surgeons to help babies with airway obstructions.

For more information, please visit fetalsurgery.chop.edu