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Jackson Fetal Therapy Institute - Jackson Health System

Information for Patients

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The purpose of this page is to familiarize you with the procedure you will follow when you arrive at The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial for evaluation and possible surgery. Jackson Memorial is the University of Miami’s primary teaching hospital. At this unparalleled venue, patients receive care driven by the latest advances in the field and by research conducted at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Patients delivering at Jackson Memorial after fetal surgery receive care at Holtz Children's Hospital, world renowned for its neonatal and pediatrics program. Post-natal care for infants is provided by a team of experienced neonatal and pediatric specialists.

Referral Assessment

If you are a patient who would like to be referred for evaluation, please contact the Fetal Care Coordinator at 305-585-3022. The coordinator will fax an evaluation form to your doctor to complete and return to us. This information will be needed to determine the best treatment. The fetal care physician will review your records. Your doctor's office will be contacted with our recommendation. All ultrasound reports, prenatal records and insurance information will be requested. The fetal therapy  physician will review your medical records and determine how to proceed. Our office will begin the insurance process. We will notify you as soon as the insurance company informs us that this is/is not a covered benefit

The hospital policy, at this time, requires total payment prior to evaluation if your insurance company does not cover the procedure. Additional charges will be incurred from the anesthesiologist and pathologist and billed separately. If your insurance reimburses at a later date, your money will be refunded. Approximately 90% of the insurance companies cover the surgeries. Once financial clearance is obtained, your appointment will be scheduled. A Jackson Memorial Hospital Concierge representative will contact you to give you instructions on how to get to the hospital and where to park.

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Your Appointment

On the day of your appointment, a Jackson Concierge representative will meet you at the hospital near the Diagnostic Treatment Center (DTC). The representative will take you to the fourth floor of Women's Hospital Center, where you will meet the Fetal Therapy Coordinator. The coordinator will take you to get ultrasound assessments.

During your appointment, you will undergo diagnostic ultrasound and fetal therapy consultation. Make sure to eat before your appointment as it takes a significant amount of time. Feel free to bring drinks and snacks with you. Plan to be at the hospital for approximately four hours.

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Pre-admission Testing

Following your ultrasound and consultation, the fetal care coordinator takes you to pre-admission testing. Upon arrival, you complete a medical history form. This form asks about your general physical status and any specific health problems you may have. The nurse draws blood for various tests that are necessary prior to surgery. She gives you instructions on time to check in and where to check in for your surgery.

One of the anesthesiologists evaluates your physical condition to determine any specific needs you may have concerning your anesthesia. This completes your visit to pre-admission testing department. After this is finished you do not have to come back to the hospital until three hours prior to surgery, which usually takes place the next day.

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Before Surgery

Before surgery, you are not allowed to eat or drink for a defined amount of time (usually at least 6 - 8 hours). This is to prevent the risk of vomiting during surgery. In medical terms, this is known as "NPO" (nothing by mouth). It is important to drink as much water as possible before you are "NPO" so you do not become dehydrated.

On the day of surgery, an intravenous line (IV) will be inserted by needle stick to give fluids and medications during surgery. In most cases, this will be the only needle stick that is needed. You will be held in the pre-anesthesia area (fourth floor labor and delivery area of The Women's Hospital at Jackson Memorial). After you are prepared for surgery, your significant other may join you until you are taken to the operating room (OR). An ultrasound is done prior to going to the operating room to confirm the babies' heartbeats.

The specially trained fetal care nurses and an anesthesiologist will take you to the OR.

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During Surgery

Surgery is performed under local anesthesia, meaning you are awake but relaxed and your abdomen is numbed where the instrument is inserted. An anesthesiologist stays with you throughout the procedure. You are given additional medication as needed. Occasionally, general anesthesia, meaning you are put to sleep, is used.

A catheter will be put in your bladder to drain urine and will remain in place until later that evening. During surgery, one or two small incisions, approximately 1/10 inch long, are made on the abdomen. In most cases surgery lasts one to two hours, but this can vary depending on a number of factors.

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After Surgery

Following surgery, you are taken to the recovery room where you are monitored for approximately one to two hours. Medication may be given after surgery to relax the uterus and stop any contractions. Pain or discomfort after surgery is usually minimal. If needed, pain relief medicine is available. The catheter is removed from your bladder about four hours after you arrive in your room. Your significant other may remain with you in your room. Following surgery, you may have food as tolerated. That night, activity is restricted to bathroom privileges only, but this depends upon your specific condition and medications being administered.

The day after surgery, a follow-up ultrasound will be done in the morning. Most patients are discharged following their ultrasound. You may plan on being here approximately 3-4 days: one day for ultrasound and consultation and one day for surgery. You spend the night of surgery in the hospital. Most of our patients are discharged the following morning. We recommend spending one night at the hotel before traveling.

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Returning Home

After surgery, your personal doctor resumes your care for the rest of the pregnancy and delivery. You and your physician should feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns. Weekly ultrasounds are recommended for the next month. After that time, if all is going well, ultrasounds are performed as indicated by your doctor. Although you are returning home, we continue to follow your pregnancy closely. Please make arrangements with your doctor to forward all of your ultrasound reports and any other pertinent information to us.

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Jackson Fetal Therapy Institute

Jackson Fetal Therapy Institute
1611 N.W. 12th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
305-355-1327 (fax)

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