March 14, 2011
School of Medicine, Kochi
A new division for Perinatology was recently initiated at the Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences.
Part of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the division will offer a comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for conditions affecting expectant mothers.
Perinatology, also known as maternal-fetal medicine, is concerned with the care of the mother and the fetus in complicated, high-risk pregnancies. The new division at Amrita comprises of highly skilled obstetricians who have expertise in managing high-risk pregnancies.
Dr. Laxmi Padmanabhan, an eminent obstetrician specially trained in fetal medicine at Mediscan Chennai, speaks about the new division.
“Pregnancy is truly a blissful process. But, sometimes, there may be complications arising during pregnancy that may put the baby’s health at risk. Therefore, every expectant mother should visit this clinic to ensure the well being of her baby. A perinatologist is involved in the entire aspect of pregnancy care.”
“The baby, as it is formed in the mother’s womb, is at the risk of having chromosomal abnormalities and congenital anomalies which may either be structural or functional. Now, in this era of ‘Master Health Checkups’, we have various modalities to ensure the well being of the baby.”
“At Amrita, our division provides both first trimester and second trimester screening tests to screen for abnormalities and identify high-risk pregnancies which can become complicated.”
“First trimester screening tests provide information about a pregnant woman’s risk of having a baby with certain birth defects or genetic conditions such as Down syndrome, trisomy 18, etc. These tests include blood tests and an ultrasound exam. Performed between 11-14 weeks of pregnancy, they include screening for pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A (PAPP-A) and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Ultrasound exam includes nuchal translucency screening for Down syndrome.”
“Second trimester screening tests include triple screen test that measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), estriol and human chorionic gonadotropin. These blood tests usually are done around 15–20 weeks of pregnancy.”
“If these screening tests raise concerns about pregnancy, further diagnostic tests can be done that include chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis.”
“In liaison with the allied specialties, the division also offers therapies for conditions like anaemia of the baby, certain congenital heart diseases and renal abnormalities.”
Before joining Amrita, Dr. Laxmi worked at JIPMER Pondicherry and St. Johns Medical College, Bangalore. A member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, UK, she is also the recipient of young author award for the year 2002 by the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecological Societies of India.