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Circumvallate placenta condition follows Angelica from the Philippines to Dr. Rad

A month away from her delivery date, Angelica spends her time resting. Maybe a slow walk, but that’s it. This wasn’t how she envisioned spending her vacation in the United States when she left her home in Manila. 

Angelica and her husband decided she should have a complete physical examination at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore as part of her holiday. Her pregnancy was going well, but she knew that her obstetrician in the Philippines did not have the same expertise as U.S. doctors. 

Things changed dramatically in her second trimester when Johns Hopkins doctors found she had a circumvallate placenta. This rare condition puts both the mother and the pregnancy at risk with side effects such as hemorrhage, low birth weight, and emergency Cesarean section. 

Because she had no symptoms or discomfort, Angelica, 28, flew back to Los Angeles and prepared to go home to Manila the next day. 

Circumvallate placenta condition follows Angelica from the Philippines to Dr. Rad

What is circumvallate placenta?

Circumvallate placenta refers to a placental abnormality. Only about 7% of pregnant women experience circumvallate placenta.  

With this condition, the fetal-side membranes (basal and chorionic plates) along the edge of the placenta “double back” on themselves. 

In some cases, it may result in preterm birth, restricted fetal growth, or low birth weight. Severely underweight or preterm babies often have to spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with a specialized healthcare team. 

To decrease the risk of complications, high-risk OB/GYNs closely monitor fetal development in circumvallate placenta patients. Keeping a close eye on the baby’s growth (often with weekly ultrasounds) lets the doctor determine when the baby is ready to be born or when labor needs to be induced early. 

Angelica’s condition interrupts her plans

On the eve of her departure for the Philippines, Angelica developed severe abdominal pains and went to the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. On the staff at Cedars-Sinai, maternal-fetal medicine expert Dr. Steve Rad was notified of Angelica’s condition. 

Dr. Rad quickly scheduled an appointment for Angelica so he could put his skills to work and lower Angelica’s risk. Circumvallate placenta may cause persistent vaginal bleeding beginning in the first trimester. 

“She had abnormal placenta and was at risk for stillbirth, placental abruption, premature rupture of membranes, perinatal death, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal growth abnormalities, bleeding, preterm delivery, and adverse pregnancy outcomes,” says Dr. Rad, who advised Angelica to remain in Los Angeles on bed rest until she gave birth. “She could not fly because they don’t have the resources and specialists in her country.” 

The good news is that Angelica felt quite comfortable under the doctor’s care. 

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Dr. Rad’s expertise gets Angelica to a healthy delivery

“The office was very cozy,” she says, commenting on the overall feeling of the space. “It wasn’t like the usual doctor’s offices I had visited.” 

Meanwhile, Dr. Rad administered numerous high-definition fetal scans during regular checkups to monitor fetal development. The anatomy scan monitors fetal development and can detect fetal, heart rate, placental, or umbilical cord abnormalities. Because of Angelica’s circumvallate placenta, Dr. Rad had to monitor the baby far more closely to make sure they were doing well. 

Circumvallate placenta also comes with an increased risk of oligohydramnios, where the quantity of amniotic fluid is less than usual. 

Despite potential pregnancy dangers, Angelica always felt confident in the doctor’s care. 

“Dr. Rad always makes me feel like I don’t have to worry about anything,” she says. “He’s so nice you can call him day or night. If I don’t call him, he contacts me to ensure I’m alright.” 

During her monitoring, Angelica frequently visited Dr. Rad’s office and took it easy in her Los Angeles rental home. 

“I’m doing good so far. I have to stay relaxed,” she says, adding that she enjoys the cooler California climate compared to the Philippines. “I have to avoid stress. That’s why some women have preterm labor.” 

Angelica’s ability to take it easy and follow directions with Dr. Rad’s expertise paid off on Thursday, February 1 when she became the proud mother of healthy baby girl Lauren Angela Alita Revilla. 

Why travel to Dr. Rad internationally?

Expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies worldwide are finding their way to OB/GYN Dr. Steve Rad’s Beverley Hills offices. Dr. Rad is recognized as one of the premier high-risk pregnancy and maternal-fetal medicine physicians anywhere across the globe. Dr. Rad has been named a top Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist in Los Angeles by Los Angeles Magazine for six years. 

A maternal-fetal medicine specialist (perinatologist) receives a traditional obstetrics and gynecology education but with an additional three years of training to treat medical complications and promote a healthy pregnancy. 

Double-board certified Dr. Rad uses innovative 3D and 4D High-Definition ultrasound technology available only in a few places worldwide. Dr. Rad and his pregnancy care team have expertise in performing and interpreting Early Fetal Scans and Echocardiograms that facilitate the diagnosis of fetal abnormalities as early as 11 to 16 weeks of gestation. Dr. Rad has undergone extensive training in fetal echocardiography, sonography, and interpretation of early fetal scans under the auspices of the world’s leading specialists in the United Kingdom, Austria, Israel, and the United States. 

Dr. Rad offers in-home prenatal care and a fly-in program for out-of-town and international patients. Dr. Rad travels to patients who need him throughout the U.S. and worldwide. The doctor offers virtual consultations worldwide. 

Call (844) 473-6100 or schedule your consultation online. We are currently accepting new patients. 

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