The mission of the Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC) is to provide the finest diagnosis, ongoing screening and care for a mother carrying a baby with a confirmed or suspected congenital anomaly. For these families, our center offers entry to a continuum of care and support that extends throughout childhood--from prenatal diagnosis and counseling, through treatment and long-term follow-up. On rare occasions, our team will recommend and perform intervention during fetal life. For example, we partner closely with our consultants in the Fetal Cardiology Program to correct or prevent defects of the fetal heart in utero. Our physicians, who represent all pediatric subspecialty areas, work with a wide range of babies with anomalies. Together, they have developed ground-breaking procedures in fetal medicine and surgery. Call 1-866-FETALCARE (1-866-338-2522) to speak with a member of our team.
Stitch in Time
From National Public Radio
AFCC co-director and cardiology Wayne Tworetzkty, MD explains a stunning, and stunningly precise, fetal intervention: one designed to help a heart on the road to a hypoplastic left ventricle take a turn for the better.
The mission of the AFCC is to provide the finest diagnosis, ongoing screening and care and for a woman carrying a baby with a confirmed or suspected congenital anomaly -- from the prenatal period through childhood. Explore this site to see how we are achieving that mission, or download our fact sheet.
11 years of excellence, innovation and compassion
The Advanced Fetal Care Center (AFCC) of Boston Children's Hospital was founded in 2000 by Russell Jennings, MD, with Luanne Nemes, RN, MS, PNP, to treat the fetus with life-threatening congenital anomalies. Since its inception, thousands of pregnant women have been referred to the AFCC for diagnostic studies, counseling, treatment and care when a fetal anomaly is suspected or diagnosed.
Few centers offer the depth and breadth of expertise found at Children's. The AFCC is one of just a handful of comprehensive fetal care centers in the United States. Through ground-breaking procedures and a commitment to the best in pediatric care, the center is rewriting what's possible in fetal medicine and surgery with their staff of specialists, representing more than 20 specialty areas.
Few centers offer the breadth and depth of expertise found at the AFCC.
- We are one of just a handful of comprehensive fetal care centers in the United States.
- We are the world’s first and most experienced center in performing successful fetal cardiac interventions—treating abnormalities in utero to reduce potentially fatal concerns after delivery.
- We conduct multidisciplinary evaluation for the consideration of EXIT to ECMO procedures at delivery to treat anomalies including airway obstruction, severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM).
- We are recognized as an Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Center of Excellence to recognize and honor ECMO programs internationally who reach the highest level of performance, innovation, satisfaction and quality.
- We performed the first successful laser separation in Massachusetts for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
- We offer endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV) with choroid plexus cauterization as an alternative to ventriculoperitoneal shunt for the treatment of congenital hydrocephalus.
AFCC services are overseen and coordinated by a core team of fetal and pediatric experts. As each case requires, the team brings on additional specialists across disciplines including anesthesia, cardiology, general surgery, genetics, neonatology, neurology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, nursing, orthopedics, otolaryngology, patient services, plastic surgery, radiology and urology. The specialists are experts in pediatric care and provide information to parents on what to expect after delivery regarding surgery, hospitalization, and long-term outcomes.
This multidisciplinary approach ensures a fully coordinated care plan, one that is built on the collaborative involvement of Children's pediatric experts and on-going communication with the patient and primary obstetric team.
The AFCC works in close collaboration with the Harvard consortium of hospitals, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital, along with many local and non-local obstetricians.
Weekly AFCC Conferences
Each week, the AFCC holds a conference attended by more than 80 health care professionals from across disciplines -- obstetrics, neonatology, radiology, pediatric specialties, nursing, and genetic counseling -- where cases are presented to discuss their management, treatment options, and outcomes.
Leading the way in fetal medicine and surgery
Children's is continuing to advance what's possible in fetal medicine. Through the joint work of researchers, genetic specialists, surgeons, and other care providers, the Advanced Fetal Care Center is breaking new ground in the understanding of fetal anomalies, with the goals of early detection and treatment.