Dr. Yuval Gielchinsky, an obstetrician with a PhD in molecular biology, is a specialist in Fetal Medicine at the Hadassah University Medical Center, who honed his knowledge and skills during a two-and-half-year fellowship with the founder of the first Fetal Medicine Unit in the United Kingdom at King's College in London, Prof. Kypros Nicolaides.
Now back at Hadassah, Dr. Gielchinsky has begun establishing a Fetal Medicine Unit at the Medical Center. Unlike the current practice of regarding maternal and fetal medicine as a single entity, this relatively new multidisciplinary field of fetal medicine focuses solely on the baby in the womb, Dr. Gielchinsky explains.
Dr. Gielchinsky has already altered conventional screening strategies, instituting first trimester screening--involving ultrasound and chromosome identification--to identify problems and anomalies during the 12th week of growth. He has introduced endoscopic examination of the womb to provide additional information on the baby's condition. If the endoscopy reveals a problem, he can then intervene, as appropriate. Operating on a fetus in the womb, Dr. Gielchinsky is able to correct developmental abnormalities, ensuring, for example, that twins each have an individual source of blood.
Before he left for London, Dr. Gielchinsky was the Principle Investigator of the Hadassah-Hebrew University research team which made the groundbreaking discovery that pregnancy restores liver regeneration in aged mice. The implications of this finding created international interest since the discovery could eventually be relevant to other tissues and organs and lead to the ability to stimulate their regeneration.
Dr. Gielchinsky believes that "Hadassah is strong enough to set the example" and can lead the way in creating new policies in Israel for better care of babies while still in the womb.