Under the direction of Dr. Michael Harrison, the Fetal Treatment Center was the first institution to develop fetal surgery techniques. The first open fetal surgery in the world was performed at UCSF in the early 1980's. We are one of the most experienced institutions in fetal surgery and endoscopic fetal intervention (FETENDO fetal surgery) in the world. Our dedication to research, innovation, and clinical application has included the training of many dedicated physicians.

The Fetal Treatment Center combines the talents of specialists in pediatric surgery, genetics, obstetrics/perinatology, anesthesia, cardiology, radiology, nursing, and neonatal medicine. Our team of doctors, nurses, and social workers work together to coordinate all aspects of care from diagnosis to postoperative recovery and long-term follow-up.

Our Multidisciplinary Approach

All the members of our multidisciplinary Fetal Treatment Center (FTC) team play an integral role in your care. The team includes clinicians involved in the direct care of patients as well as research fellows who are developing novel therapies in diagnosis and treatment of the fetus. Our team meets weekly to discuss your care, patient outcomes, birth results, and -- equally important -- to share recent research which ultimately may result in even more effective fetal interventions.

The multidisciplinary approach we use combines the expertise of our Pediatric Surgery Division with the expertise of leaders from established programs in perinatal genetics, radiology, maternal-fetal medicine, nursing, anesthesia, cardiology, and neonatal medicine. You can expect to interact with a variety of health care specialists including: pediatric surgeonsradiologistsperinatologists, neonatologists, cardiologists, neurologists, urologists & nephrologistsgeneticistsanesthesiologistsnurses, and social workers, all of whom will be directly involved in your care.

Our Research

Fetal Exome Sequencing

Next generation sequencing (NGS), precision medicine that holds promise for the diagnosis and treatment of fetal congenital anomalies, genetic disorders and other complications of pregnancy.

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Study applying a broad genetic test, called trio exome sequencing, to discover genetic diseases underlying non-immune hydrops fetalis.

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Intrauterine Therapy for Alpha Thalassemia Major

FDA-approved phase 1 clinical trial for treatment of Alpha Thalassemia Major using in utero stem cell transplantation.

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UCSF Pediatric Surgery

The Fetal Treatment Center is intricately connected with the UCSF Division of Pediatric Surgery at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital which is dedicated to providing expert surgical care for fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents with congenital and acquired conditions. Our pediatric surgeons remain committed to the ongoing development of new surgical techniques for treating diseases in children-particularly minimally invasive approaches to replace more invasive open procedures that require large incisions.


Our staff is committed to providing the highest level of care for children with chronic conditions from birth through adolescence. The LIFE Clinic Program (Long-Term Infant-to-Adult Follow-Up and Evaluation Program) specializes in providing long-term multidisciplinary follow-up care for children surviving and thriving with birth defects.