Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a technique for obtaining genetic information about an unborn baby by collecting cells from the placenta. Indications for CVS include an increased risk for a baby with a chromosomal abnormality, a family history of inherited (genetic) diseases, or evidence of fetal abnormalities on a first trimester ultrasound (increased nuchal translucency).
CVS has been available for decades and is as safe as amniocentesis when performed by an experienced physician. CVS is considered to be associated with a pregnancy loss rate of 1:200-1:400 procedures. In our experience, the loss rate has been less than 1:400. Early studies of CVS raised concerns about risk of injury to the developing baby that included loss of fingers. More recent safety studies have shown that when the procedure is performed after the tenth week of pregnancy using modern equipment and techniques, there is not a risk of fetal malformations.
CVS can be performed either through the mother’s abdomen (transabdominal approach) or through the vagina and cervix (transcervical approach). Both are equally safe. The safest procedure for any mother is the one that can be achieved with the most ease and the least manipulation. We offer both transabdominal and transcervical CVS between the beginning of the 10th and the end of the 13th week of pregnancy.
If you need to have CVS for any reason, we would be pleased to schedule an appointment with you to discuss the procedure and the method that would be safest for you and your baby.