Woman's Hospital Provides Expert Care for Patients with Placenta Complications

Maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physicians at Woman’s Hospital are trained to treat some of the most complicated and rare conditions during pregnancy for both mom and baby. Dr. Pamela Simmons has a special interest and expertise in treating patients with placenta accreta, a condition where scar tissue can cause the placenta to grow too deeply into the uterus.

This typically occurs in patients with multiple Cesarean deliveries. Symptoms can include pain and bleeding during pregnancy, but sometimes there are no symptoms at all. According to the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, only about 3 in 1,000 pregnancies experience this type of complication.

Woman’s MFM has satellite clinics across Louisiana to help treat more high-risk pregnancy cases. Locations include Lake Charles, Thibodaux, Hammond, Covington, and Monroe.

Brittany Keen, a patient from West Monroe, La., was recently cared for by Woman’s MFM doctors at the satellite clinic in Monroe and delivered her baby at Woman’s Hospital due to placenta accreta. Typical treatment for placenta accreta is a hysterectomy to remove the uterus following the child’s birth.

“It can be catastrophic if not detected prior to delivery,” explained Simmons. “The blood loss alone can be fatal if you’re not prepared in the operating room.”

Keen delivered a healthy baby girl earlier this year at Woman’s Hospital due to the care and expertise of Simmons and the rest of the hospital’s multidisciplinary team, including MFM, anesthesia, neonatology, blood bank, and pathology.

In most cases, the mom is put under general anesthesia for the entire procedure. But Simmons has advocated for her patients to receive spinal anesthesia for delivery so they can witness their child’s birth, and then be switched to general anesthesia for the hysterectomy.

“Dr. Simmons was such a great advocate for me and my baby,” Keen explained. “The way she checked in on me every day throughout the process and really showed she cared, that personal experience was so important to us and meant so much.”

Brittany Keen is pictured with husband Jason and Woman's MFM Physicians Dr. Simmons, left,  and Dr. Marshall St. Amant, right.