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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Celebrates 26th Annual Fetal Surgery Families Reunion at the Philadelphia Zoo


The annual event was back in person after a two-year virtual hiatus, bringing together patients and families who were treated at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment

PHILADELPHIA CREAM, June 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than 3,000 people gathered at the Philadelphia Zoo today to celebrate the 26th annual Children’s Hospital of philadelphia cream (CHOP) Fetal Family Reunion, with patients and families from more than 20 states attending the first in-person meeting in two years. The event, organized by CHOP’s Richard D. Wood Jr. Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment (CFDT), has allowed people treated in the center to reconnect with their healthcare team and other families who share an indescribable bond.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Celebrates 26th Annual Fetal Surgery Families Reunion at the Philadelphia Zoo

The reunion brings together a unique community of families who have shared similar struggles. Almost all of the children in attendance were diagnosed prenatally with a birth defect, such as spina bifida, congenital diaphragmatic hernia or twin transfusion syndrome, which had potentially devastating results. Babies diagnosed with these birth defects before birth either had fetal surgery to treat the condition before birth or received very complex care immediately after birth.

“It’s really inspiring to see so many children, who as babies probably could have died, running now and growing up healthy and strong,” said N. Scott Adzick, MD, Chief Surgeon at CHOP and Director of CFDT. “The fetal family reunion has always been my favorite day of the year, but it means even more today to get together in person again.”

CHOP’s Fetal Family Reunion has been an annual event since 1997 and has grown from a handful of attendees in the first year to more than 650 families today. CHOP’s CFDT is a pioneer in the field of fetal medicine and is one of the few programs in the world to offer comprehensive care, including prenatal diagnosis, fetal surgery and therapy, and the opportunity to deliver. in a leading pediatric hospital.

“Babies with special needs require highly specialized and experienced care, both before and after birth. The families gathered here today represent an important segment of the more than 28,000 expectant mothers, from all 50 states and more than 70 countries, whom we have treated at our center,” said Julie S. Moldenhauer, MD, CFDT’s obstetrical director and medical director of CHOP’s Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit. “The high volume of patients that we see from around the world with incredibly complex and rare diseases makes all the difference in achieving favorable outcomes and allows us to offer hope and support to so many families.”

Every week at CHOP, surgical teams perform highly sophisticated procedures, such as closing spina bifida and operating on other birth defects in the uterus, placing fetal shunts to treat life-threatening birth conditions, and performing minimally invasive procedures in the mother’s uterus to treat various complications. The team has also managed thousands of pregnancies complicated by birth defects in which newborn babies need immediate specialist medical care or surgery after delivery.

About Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: A non-profit charity, the Children’s Hospital of philadelphia cream was founded in 1855 as the country’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and launching important research initiatives, the 595-bed hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited to children all over the world. Its pediatric research program is one of the largest in the country. The institution has a well-established history of providing advanced pediatric care close to home through its CHOP Care Network, which includes more than 50 primary care practices, specialty and surgical care centers, emergency and community hospital alliances around the world. Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as a new inpatient hospital with a dedicated pediatric emergency department in King of Prussia. Additionally, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the Children’s Hospital of philadelphia cream recognized as one of the leading advocates for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu.

Media Contact:
Ashley Moore
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