"KFSH&RC" was able to diagnose and treat 2462 fetuses through a precise medical




Dr. AlShunaify: 3 methods of treatment namely; the Open-Womb Surgery, endoscopic fetal surgery and through guided needles.

Dr. Saud AlShunaify, Pediatric Surgery Consultant and Director of the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh, confirmed that the KFSH&RC Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program managed to treat 434 cases and diagnosed 2028 fetal cases during nine years since the establishment of the only program of its kind in the region.

Dr. AlShunaify said that the program, which has been in operation since 2008, is concerned with providing comprehensive care using the latest medical techniques for the pregnant mother and the fetus through a multidisciplinary medical team. The program deals with the diagnostic intervention of some genetic diseases that may affect the mother and the fetus in the future. Dr. AlShunaify added that surgical intervention using many methods during early pregnancy is available to treat some of these diseases and their adverse effects in the future, noting that there are more cases that have been medically evaluated for intervention through this advanced service, which the hospital has the capacity to accommodate.

“The Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program is one of the rare highly-specialized programs existing in a few centers around the world that were established during the past two decades. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh began the preparation of this program since 2006 based on what it possesses of the scientific and practical capabilities that made it the only centre in the Middle East and the Arab world, noting the tremendous efforts that resulted in the practical start of the program with the first case of this type in early 2008, followed by many cases of diagnosis and treatment. In addition, different clinics were established for this purpose and led by a highly trained and specialized health staff” Dr. AlShunaify pointed out.


He explained that fetal intervention is a therapeutic intervention for the fetus during pregnancy to treat or mitigate the effects of the disease, where pregnancy is followed up to complete the stages of normal development of the fetus, noting that the timing and method of fetal intervention depends on the type of disease. He also pointed out that between 18 weeks and 28 weeks of gestation, intervention is carried out with one of three therapeutic methods, namely, the intervention with ultrasound-guided needle, intervention with endoscopic fetal surgery, and direct surgical intervention to open the womb and perform the operation directly on the fetus. "

“These advanced therapeutic methods can be used to treat many diseases and congenital defects such as congenital diaphragm, lung congestion defects, chordoma bone cancer, congenital obstruction of the respiratory tract, obstruction of the urethra and twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Although that most of these diseases are dealt with after delivery successfully, but some of them remain with very negative effects on the fetus and cannot be remedied after delivery because of delayed treatment, and some may lead to the death of the fetus during pregnancy or immediately after delivery, which called for the emergence of the idea of fetal intervention” Dr. AlShunaify explained.

The director of Fetal Diagnosis And Treatment Program in "KFSH&RC" emphasized on the success of the program in the treatment of complex and very dangerous fetal cases and congenital malformations with results comparable to the developed countries medically, as the program is characterized by the existence of multiple subspecialties comprising qualified medical professionals who received the highest level training in the best specialized centers worldwide, in order to provide integrated specialized medical care for these precise cases.

He stressed on the pursuit of this precise specialization worldwide, which is still in its early stages of development to develop advanced means of treatment and expand the base of fetal diseases that can be remedied through therapeutic intervention, which is performed by the Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment Program in KFSH&RC via the well-considered expansion, through the opening of specialized outpatient clinics for this type of medical care, such as fetal diagnosis and treatment clinics, fetal cardiac disease diagnosis and genetic diagnosis clinics, which would increase the number of cases in light of the existence of these clinics and raise awareness of medical centers concerned with the health of pregnant women and their good delivery.

It is noteworthy to mention that King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh will organize a conference on this subject under titled Fetal Care in Saudi Arabia: present and future on 10 and 11 May 2017.