Testing, Treatment & Procedures

When unexpected complications raise concerns for you or your fetus, our Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians offer specialized treatment and testing. Whether you need a procedure to help prevent premature delivery or testing for possible genetic disorders, North Florida Perinatal Associates offers the expert care you need, when you need it most.

Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) and Amniocentesis

These procedures are two of the most reliable ways to assess the genetic well-being of fetuses.

CVS involves obtaining DNA from a tiny tissue sample of the placenta and is usually performed between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Amniocentesis acquires genetic information from a sample of the amniotic fluid and is usually performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy, by obtaining a sample of the amniotic fluid around the fetus using ultrasound guidance.

Either procedure can be suggested:

  • When there is increased risk for genetic abnormality
  • When there is a family history of genetic disease
  • As a follow up on a first trimester ultrasound

Both procedures have proven to be safe and reliable for decades. However, there is a small risk for complications. Before you have a CVS or amniocentesis, we will meet with you to discuss the risks and benefits and help you make the best choice for you and your fetus.

High-Resolution, Targeted Ultrasonography

Although a targeted fetal ultrasound is not a 3-D ultrasound, the images it generates are highly detailed.

  • A targeted fetal ultrasound is used to examine a specific organ or part of the body.
  • This high-resolution imaging may help detect structural problems before delivery.
  • Fetal echocardiography is a detailed sonographic evaluation, which is used to identify and characterize fetal heart rate anomalies before delivery.
  • Our perinatal physicians have broad experience and are specially trained in this type of ultrasound.
Assessment of Fetal Well-Being

Fetal well-being assessment can help identify any medical conditions that might threaten a normal outcome. Fetal well-being is determined in several ways, the simplest is the mother's own perception of her fetus's movement. The following indicators help your physician determine your fetus's well-being:

  • Fetal heart rate variability
  • Ultrasound fetal movement and tone
  • Amniotic fluid levels
  • Doppler flow studies of umbilical cord blood flow

These assessments are typically taken weekly but your physician may recommend more frequent testing as needed.