LIFE is an acronym for Long term Infant to adult Follow up and Evaluation Program. It is appropriate that UCSF, the place where the idea of fetal intervention was fertilized, nurtured to term and brought to delivery, offer long term specialty care of children from birth into adulthood.
Download the LIFE Clinic PDF brochure
Videos about the UCSF LIFE Clinic
- What is the LIFE Clinic?
- Types of patients seen at the LIFE Clinic
- Why should my child be seen at the LIFE Clinic?
- Will my insurance cover my visit at the LIFE Clinic?
- Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, A Mother's Story - experience at UCSF including delivery, ICN care, and the LIFE Clinic.
The goal of the LIFE Clinic is to provide education and expert medical care to children with complex birth defects to foster the development of a healthy, well-adjusted, and independent adult.
Health problems of the fetus, which start during pregnancy, are complex, often with multi-organ involvement, and long term effects on function. The UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital is committed to treating fetal anomalies, nurturing these tiny patients to delivery, offering postnatal surgery, and caring for these infants through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.
The LIFE Clinic
The LIFE clinic is a multidisciplinary program that involves a team of specialists, which includes gastroenterologists, neonatologists, pulmonologists, dietitians, and the pediatrics development team, led by the pediatric surgery service. Types of patients seen at the LIFE clinic Children range from infants to teenagers with the following conditions:
- Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)
- Anorectal Malformations (Imperforate Anus, Cloacal Malformations)
- Hirschsprung's Disease (HD)
- Esophageal Atresia (EA) with or without Tracheo-esophageal Fistula (TEF)
- Congenital lung masses (congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM); bronchopulmonary sequestration)
- Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT)
- Biliary anomalies: Choledochal Cyst and Biliary Atresia
- Anterior Abdominal Wall Defects (Omphalocoele, Gastroschisis)
How the LIFE Clinic Can Benefit Your Child
Children with these conditions are prone to specific medical problems including:
- reactive airway disease (asthma-like symptoms)
- constipation and fecal soiling or accidents, which require a bowel regimen
- feeding difficulties and poor weight gain
- poor neurodevelopment
- risk for disease recurrence
Anticipation and management of health problems associated with these conditions is the main focus of the LIFE clinic. By controlling or preventing these problems our patients are able to live more comfortably, stay healthier and enjoy a better quality of life. We believe that minimizing chronic illnesses and associated disabilities helps our LIFE patients maximize their capabilities.
Research Programs at the LIFE Clinic
The LIFE Clinic is engaged in a research project documenting the natural history of each condition and evalutating the long-term outcomes. Children seen at the LIFE Clinic have the option to participate in this research. Participation in this research project is voluntary and is not required to be seen at the LIFE clinic. Participation in the research project will not affect your child’s care. The results of this research project will hopefully help to educate families and medical providers and improve the care of patients with these conditions.
To see if your child is eligible for care at the UCSF LIFE Clinic please call 415-476-2538
Desserts for LIFE
Members of the Pediatric Surgery have created a dessert recipes cookbook, Desserts for LIFE. The profits from the sale of this book will benefit children with complex birth defects who receive their care at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.