The Fetal Medicine centre at the University of Leuven, Belgium (http://www.kuleuven.be/english/) is one of the leading centres in the world for Fetal therapy where Dr. Anita Kaul spent three months this summer under Prof. Jan Deprest for training in in-utero fetal interventions.
Prof Deprest is a pioneer in fetal therapy and has developed and improvised many fetoscopic procedures to improve outcomes in fetal structural abnormalities and complicated monochorionic twin pregnancies.
The Leuven Fetal Therapy team which also comprises of Prof Liesebeth Lewi, Prof Roland Devlieger and Prof Luc de Catte perform many complicated procedures including fetal endotracheal occlusion for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, LASER photocoagulation of placental anastomostic vessels in twin to twin transfusion syndrome(TTTS), intrauterine fetal shunt placements for fetal pleural effusions, intrauterine fetal blood transfusions and also now cardiac interventions.
Prof Leisbeth Lewi is an expert in the management of monochorionic twin pregnancies complicated by twin to twin transfusion syndrome and has done extensive research on the pathophysiology of TTTS and placental studies Dr Kaul received instruction on how to perform fetoscopic laser ablation of placental vessels and equally important understood the correct techniques for performing fetal therapeutic procedures
Dr. Anita Kaul also spent time at the Department of Fetal Medicine, Necker-Enfants-Malades Hospital, Paris Descartes University, Paris, to observe fetal therapeutic procedures conducted by their team under Prof Yves Ville. This is also one of the busiest fetal therapy centres of Europe and has several teaching and training programmes in the specialty.
Upon her return, Dr. Kaul has now set up a functional fetal therapy unit at the Apollo Centre for Fetal Medicine . Uptil now most patients requiring fetal LASERs had to travel to the West which incurred significant financial costs not to mention visa issues. Now there is a ray of hope for such patients within the country. She has developed long lasting collaborations with the centres she visited and this will help in maintaining global standards and external auditing of the systems set at Apollo Centre for Fetal Medicine.