New fetal care center

The Michael and Ann Ciresi Midwest Fetal Care Center — a new 6,700-square-foot clinic located in The Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis — opened March 14.

It’s the first and largest advanced fetal care program in the Upper Midwest, made possible by a partnership involving Children’s Minnesota, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minnesota Perinatal Physicians and Pediatric Surgical Associates

Mothers having high-risk pregnancies involving congenital conditions or abnormalities may be referred to the center, which offers the latest technology and treatments in fetal care.

Though the center is an outpatient facility, fetal specialists can perform a variety of fetal surgeries and procedures at the adjacent hospital. That includes potentially lifesaving fetoscopies — endoscopic procedures done during pregnancy that give doctors access to the fetus as well as the amniotic cavity, umbilical cord and the fetal side of the placenta. 

One procedure — known as a fetoscopic laser ablation — involves the use of a laser to help treat twin-to–twin transfusion syndrome by balancing the blood flow between two babies in utero. 

Specialized fetal care is nothing new for perinatal physicians in Minneapolis — 75 fetoscopies have been done since 2008. This new center, however, offers a single point of collaboration for the region’s many experts in the field.

Perinatologists, pediatric surgeons, neonatologists, cardiologists, ENT specialists, genetic counselors, ethicists, perinatal social workers and care coordinators work with families from diagnosis through care in the NICU.

There are about 30 fetal care centers in the U.S. Of those, only eight — including the new Midwest Fetal Care Center — are classified as advanced.

The new facility was made possible in part through a $1 million gift from Minnesota attorney and Children’s Foundation past chair, Mike Ciresi, and his wife, Ann. 

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Perinatal physician Dr. David Lynch-Salamon performs an ultrasound at the new fetal care center.