When Experience Counts…
SAN FRANCISCO — With 38 years of experience, Dr. Fung Lam has delivered more than 5,600 babies at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and has identified many pregnancy complications that resulted in referrals to specialists. When San Francisco resident Aliisa Rosenthal came to Dr. Lam, during the early stages of her pregnancy
with her second child, everything appeared to be normal. However, Dr. Lam noticed a rare anomaly on her ultrasound that he had seen before—a molar pregnancy.
A molar pregnancy occurs when the cells that become placental tissue grow at such an accelerated rate that it overwhelms the fetus and typically will not result in a viable fetus. This accelerated growth leads to the development of a tumor which must be surgically removed. Molar pregnancy is rare. In the U.S., 20 women out of 100,000 that will be affected. Women from Asia and South America can experience occurrences as high as 1,300 per 100,000. Of those who experience a molar pregnancy, less than 10 percent result in the tumor being malignant. After a molar pregnancy, 98 percent of women later go on to have normal pregnancies.
According to Dr. Lam, with the use of ultrasound, prenatal care starts much earlier than it did years ago. This allows obstetricians to often identify pregnancy complications much earlier. Because of Dr. Lam’s past experience with identifying the subtitles of a molar pregnancy, Aliisa’s situation was identified early at about nine weeks. She is now doing well and spending precious time with her husband and 2-year-old daughter.