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Friday, September 23, 2011 - VCU specialists provide care for complicated and high-risk pregnancies

Pregnancies become complicated for a variety of reasons. Mothers may have a history of high-risk or complicated pregnancies, be of advanced age or be affected by any number of conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, clotting or bleeding problems, preterm labor or cervical insufficiency. Babies may be too small or have birth defects. Twins, triplets and other multiples also can cause complications.

As a level III state-designated regional perinatal center, the VCU Medical Center provides comprehensive evaluation, counseling and care of both normal and complicated pregnancies. The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s maternal-fetal medicine program focuses on complicated pregnancies, incorporating the latest advances in prenatal care and management.

The maternal-fetal medicine program at VCU takes a collaborative team approach to complicated pregnancies, relying on geneticists, perinatal nurses, a placental pathologist, diabetes care specialists, ultrasonographers, neonatologists, pediatric surgical subspecialists and other specialists to provide the best care for patients. These specialists use the latest technology, including ultrasound, to evaluate complicated pregnancies and offer a wide range of prenatal diagnostic services.

“Our department has the ability to provide the full range of prenatal diagnosis and maternal-fetal medicine in one place,” said Dr. David Chelmow, chair of the department. “We use prenatal diagnosis to detect problems and if abnormalities have been diagnosed, we work with pediatric surgeons and specialists to prepare care for the baby long before the baby is born.”

The Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology recently welcomed two new doctors to the program, Drs. Ronald M. Ramus and Thomas C. Peng.

Dr. Ramus, the new chief of maternal-fetal medicine at VCU, brings expertise in many prenatal diagnostic techniques, including chorionic villus sampling (CVS). CVS is a way to diagnose chromosomal or genetic disorders in the first trimester, earlier than amniocentesis screening can be done. Dr. Peng is board certified in both maternal-fetal medicine and internal medicine, expanding the program’s ability to handle medical problems in pregnancy.

“Having this team of high-risk specialists is also important to our patients preparing for normal pregnancies,” Dr. Chelmow said. “You never know when something unexpected may happen and need special expertise. If something unusual happens to a patient, they can get whatever care they need at VCU.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (804) 828-4409 (Women’s Health at Nelson Clinic) or (804) 560-8950 (Women’s Health at Stony Point).

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