Maternal-Fetal Medicine at WVU

(Fritz Liedtke)

Sponsored - WVU Medicine is strongly committed to providing care for the women of West Virginia and the surrounding region who have complicated or high-risk pregnancies.

“Most pregnancies are uncomplicated,” Leo Brancazio, M.D., chair of WVU Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology, said. “It’s a very happy situation. But, when things go south, there is a good correlation in seeking early and frequent prenatal care and good outcomes.”

A maternal-fetal medicine specialist takes care of women who have complicated pregnancies as a result of a pre-existing condition prior to the pregnancy or a condition that arises during the pregnancy.

Pre-existing conditions that can complicate a pregnancy include:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Rheumatological diseases
  • Immune diseases
  • Kidney disease

Conditions that can arise during pregnancy include:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Twins and multiple gestations
  • Preterm labor
  • Fetal growth restriction
  • Fetal abnormalities
  • Placental abnormalities

“I have the privilege of reaching out to these patients and guiding them through what could be a bad time in their life and getting an optimal outcome,” Dr. Brancazio said.

A lot of maternal-fetal medicine care is consultation. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists will talk with the patient about her condition and what they are going to do to optimize her pregnancy outcome.

Because this type of care is of a consultative nature, patients and doctors do not have to be in the same room for appointments. As a result, WVU Medicine Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists are developing a telemedicine presence throughout the state and region to bring their expertise to patients closer to their homes.

“We are a state that has very few maternal-fetal medicine specialists, so we help many patients who wouldn’t otherwise get the care they need. West Virginians are my people. To be able to accomplish that is a great feeling,” Brancazio said. “Regardless of what happens, we’re going to take the best care of you and the best care of your baby.”

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