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Cordocentesis

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Cordocentesis, also known as percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) or funipuncture, is a specialized prenatal diagnostic procedure offered at Emirates Hospitals. This minimally invasive procedure involves extracting a small sample of fetal blood directly from the umbilical cord for detailed analysis. While less common than amniocentesis, cordocentesis can provide valuable information about your baby’s health in specific situations.

Why is Cordocentesis Performed?

Your doctor at Emirates Hospitals might recommend cordocentesis under specific circumstances:

  • Suspected blood disorders: If an ultrasound or other tests suggest your baby might have a blood disorder like anemia, cordocentesis can confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity.
  • Fetal infections: Certain infections, such as parvovirus B19, can potentially affect your baby. Cordocentesis can help diagnose such infections.
  • Abnormal results from other tests: If other prenatal tests like amniocentesis or CVS are inconclusive,cordocentesis can provide a more definitive diagnosis.
  • Rh incompatibility: In cases of Rh incompatibility, where your blood type is Rh-negative and your baby’s is Rh-positive, cordocentesis can monitor your baby’s blood condition and determine if blood transfusions are necessary.

It’s important to note that cordocentesis is typically considered after 18 weeks of pregnancy, as the umbilical cord becomes thicker and easier to access.

What Happens During a Cordocentesis Procedure?

Cordocentesis is a relatively simple procedure performed on an outpatient basis. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Preparation: Similar to amniocentesis, you might be advised to drink plenty of fluids beforehand to ensure a full bladder, which aids with ultrasound visualization.
  2. The procedure: A highly trained sonographer at Emirates Hospitals will use ultrasound to precisely locate your baby’s position and the umbilical cord. Under ultrasound guidance, a thin needle is carefully inserted through your abdomen and into the umbilical cord. A small amount of fetal blood is then withdrawn.
  3. Duration: The entire procedure typically takes around 15-20 minutes.
  4. After the procedure: Following cordocentesis, you might be monitored for a short period before being discharged home. You might experience some mild discomfort during the procedure, but local anesthesia can be used for pain relief.

What Can Cordocentesis Reveal?

The collected fetal blood sample undergoes various tests, including:

  • Blood cell count: This helps identify conditions like anemia or other blood disorders.
  • Genetic testing: Cordocentesis can be used for specific genetic tests not possible with other prenatal tests.
  • Blood group and Rh factor: This is crucial in cases of Rh incompatibility.
  • Fetal infections: Tests can be performed to detect certain infections that might be affecting your baby.

Benefits of Cordocentesis

  • Detailed diagnosis: Cordocentesis can provide valuable information about specific blood disorders and infections not detectable through other tests.
  • Fetal blood transfusions: In some cases, cordocentesis can be used to deliver blood transfusions directly to your baby in the womb if needed.

Risks of Cordocentesis

  • Miscarriage: There’s a small risk of miscarriage associated with cordocentesis, slightly higher than amniocentesis.
  • Infection: As with any invasive procedure, there’s a slight risk of infection.
  • Fetal injury: There’s a minimal risk of injuring the baby or the umbilical cord during the procedure.

Following Up After Cordocentesis

After the cordocentesis, it typically takes a few days to receive the results. Your doctor at Emirates Hospitals will discuss the results with you in detail. If the results are normal, you can likely continue with routine prenatal care. However, if the test reveals an abnormality, your doctor will discuss further testing options, management strategies, and provide support throughout this process.

It’s important to remember that cordocentesis is a personal decision. Your doctor at Emirates Hospitals will thoroughly explain the risks and benefits of the procedure to help you determine if it’s the right choice for your specific situation.

Last update date: 03-07-2024

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