Patients

Welcome to the Maternal and Fetal Medicine practice of Dr. Lou Pistorius.  We are committed to provide you with world class care during your pregnancy, in a friendly and caring setting.

You might be referred to us to confirm that you and your baby are healthy, or because a problem is suspected.  We understand that this can be very stressful.  We will provide you with the best possible medical diagnosis and care.  This we do by using the most up to date technology. Where necessary, we make use of a worldwide network of experts for further consultation.  We do not try to replace your own obstetrician-gynaecologist. We rather provide supplementary services in collaboration with your gynaecologist.

On this website, you can read more about different possibilities for diagnosis or treatment of your baby.  We do ultrasound examinations, as well as invasive  tests such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.  Treatment possibilities include blood transfusion or endoscopic surgery of the baby in the womb.

You might also be referred because yourself are at risk due to a pre-existing condition or a complication of your pregnancy.  In such a case, we can help to devise a management plan to optimize the your pregnancy care.

Tests and procedures

Ultrasound:

  • 12 weeks ultrasound – The main aims of this ultrasound examintion are to confirm the pregnancy duration, to screen for Down syndrome (and other chromosomal syndromes) and to evaluate the baby’s development. It can be done from 11 weeks 4 days to 13 weeks 6 days.
  • 20 weeks ultrasound– The main purpose of this ultrasound examination is to to evaluate the baby’s structural development. It can be done from 19 to 22 weeks.
  • Growth and Doppler ultrasound – This ultrasound examination is usually done after 26 weeks.  The size of the baby is measured, and Doppler ultrasound is used to evaluate blood flow in the umbilical cord and different blood vessels in the baby.

Invasive diagnostic procedures:

  • Amniocentesis – With an amniocentesis, a specimen of amniotic fluid is obtained by placing a needle through the abdominal wall into the womb’s cavity. The fluid and cells in the amniotic fluid originate from the baby, and can be used to diagnose specific conditions of the baby.
  • Chorion villus sample– With a chorionic villus sample (CVS) a sample of the chorionic villus cells which form the placenta is obtained by placing a needle through the abdominal wall into the placenta. These cells originate from the baby, and can be used to diagnose specific conditions of the baby.
  • Cordocentesis – With a cordocentesis, a blood sample the unborn baby is obtained by placing a thin needle through the abdominal wall into the umbilical cord. The blood in the umbilical cord originates from the baby, and can be used to diagnose specific conditions of the baby.

Non-invasive prenatal testing:

  • Fetal DNA testing complements ultrasound (and biochemical screening) and invasive diagnostic procedures.

Therapeutic procedures:

  • Intra-uterine transfusion – If an unborn baby is severely anaemic, blood is given to the baby through a thin needle which is placed through the abdominal wall into the umbilical cord or baby’s body cavity.
  • Laser for twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)– TTTS is a complication of identical twins, where one twin produces too much amniotic fluid, and the other is “stuck” because of a lack of amniotic fluid. This can be treated by lasering vessels on the surface of the placenta by means of a fetoscope.

 

Conditions

We’d like to provide you with information of some common conditions in pregnancy. This is intended as a general guide. Please discuss any questions with us; we’d like to provide you more specific information about your own pregnancy.

Foetal conditions

  • Down syndrome is the most common chromosome abnormality in humans
  • Spina bifida: occurs when the spine does not form properly early in pregnancy
  • Twin-twin transfusion syndrome– A potentially lethal complication arising in identical twins develop  where blood shifts from the circulation of one to the other.

Maternal conditions

Tariffs

We are not contracted into medical schemes.