WHAT IS GENETIC COUNSELING
Genetic counseling is a specialized branch of medicine aimed at helping individuals, couples and families understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, familial and reproductive implications of the genetic contribution to specific health conditions.
The suspicion of a genetic disorder in a newborn, a family history of cancers, a positive result from a prenatal genetic screen for Down syndrome, a child diagnosed with Autism— these are a few examples of scenarios that confront patients with complex information to be understood and assimilated, and with an array of conflicting emotions. These - as well as other- scenarios oftentimes require difficult decision-making that involve many technical, ethical and highly personal questions. Genetic counseling plays an invaluable role in this process by offering specialized services within a clinical setting.
Genetic Counselors help individuals address the scientific and emotional issues that arise in such situations and actively help them make informed decisions based on their own values and individual circumstances.
WHAT DOES GENETIC COUNSELING INVOLVE?
Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence
About the natural history of the condition, inheritance pattern, testing, management, prevention, support resources and research
Counselling to promote informed choices in view of risk assessment, family goals, ethical and religious values
Support to encourage the best possible adjustment to the disorder in an affected family member and/or to the risk of recurrence of that disorder
HOW TO PREPARE FOR GENETIC COUNSELING?
Genetic Counseling appointments are quite a bit different as compared to your typical doctor’s appointments. They typically last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, and are designed to be an opportunity to ask questions, raise any concerns/fears you may have, and learn more. You can get the most out of your genetic counseling appointment if you gather as much information as possible about your family history beforehand, if possible.
This includes doctors' notes and pathology reports. These are important in order to confirm a clinical diagnosis or rule out a suspected diagnosis. Your medical records are extremely helpful in guiding genetic assessment and/or testing.
FAMILY MEMBERS & THEIR HEALTH
This includes each person's current age or age at the time of diagnosis or death, and cause of death. This list should include blood relatives only (parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, and cousins) on both sides of your family.
MAJOR DISEASES IN FAMILY
Make a note of any cancers, heart disease, mental illness, known genetic conditions, birth defects, mental retardation, infant/sudden deaths, any miscarriages or fertility issues. Don’t forget to complete a health history questionnaire before your appointment.
Even though having family history details is very helpful, you should not avoid genetic counseling or be worried about having a useful appointment just because you do not know a lot about your family history. Our Genetic Counselors will consider as much information as available and help you understand your risks, available testing options, implications to your health as well as that of your family.
WHEN TO REFER TO GENETIC COUNSELING?
GENOMEPATRI GENETIC COUNSELING
PRENATAL GENETIC COUNSELING
PRECONCEPTION GENETIC COUNSELING
PEDIATRIC GENETIC COUNSELING
ADULT GENETIC COUNSELING
MEET OUR GENETIC COUNSELORS!
Dr. Pavani Upendram
Consultant Geneticist and Genetic Counselor
Dr. Pavani Upendram is a Consultant Geneticist and Genetic Counselor at Mapmygenome. She is a National Board of Genetic Counselors of India (BGCI) certified senior level (Level II) Genetic Counselor, with a doctorate in human genetics from Osmania University. She has over eight years of diagnostic, counseling, research and teaching experience in the area of Human Medical Genetics. Indian Society of Human Genetics honored her as Young Scientist in 2014. She has 15 presentations in National & International Conferences/Meetings and two best presentation awards. She has seven International publications in the area of Human Genetics. Her areas of expertise in Genetic Counseling includes cancer, dysmorphology, and multifactorial diseases
Neyha Zainab Abbas
Zainab Abbas is a Board-Certified Genetic Counselor. Graduated as an engineer in Biotechnology from Vellore Institute of Technology, she further specializes in Medical and Genetic Counselling. Having worked in the healthcare sector she is well experienced and skilled in pre-natal & ante-natal counseling, new-born screening, pediatric counseling, adult-onset, and oncology-related counseling.
Vaishnavi Suresh is a Board Certified Level 2 Genetic counselor. She holds a Master’s in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, further she has done a Specialization in Medical Genetics and Genetic Counseling from Kamineni. Having worked in a healthcare set up she is well experienced in Prenatal, Reproductive, Infertility, Pediatrics, Newborn, and Adult onset-related counseling.
Apeksha Supekar is a Level I Genetic Counselor certified by Board of Genetic Counseling India. She has done her Master of Science in Biomedical Genetics with specialization in Genetic Counseling from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore. She is fluent in English, Hindi, Marathi languages. She has experience in counseling cases associated with Prenatal, Postnatal and Adult onset genetic diseases.
Shaile Bandla is a DBT/Health sector skill council (HSSC)-India certified genetic counselor with specialization in genetic counseling and fetal medicine from Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases. She has completed her Master's in Human genetics from Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research institue, Chennai. Having worked in healthcare sector she is well experienced in prenatal, postnatal, fetal medicine,reproductive, infertility genetics, New born screening and adult onset genetic diseases.
Hephzibah Bolledhu is a DBT- Health sector skill council (HSSC)-India certified Genetic counselor.She is specialized and experienced in Fetal Medicine, Prenatal, Postnatal counselings, oncology and adult onset diseases. She holds her master's in Genetics from Osmania University and has done her Pg Diploma in genetic counseling with special emphasis on fetal medicine from the Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases.
Rachana Maragani is a Health sector skill council (HSSC)-India certified Genetic counselor. She has done her Post Graduate Diploma in genetic counseling with special emphasis on Fetal Medicine, Prenatal, Postnatal, and Adult-onset genetic diseases from the Institute of Genetics and Hospital for Genetic Diseases. She is well-experienced in prenatal, postnatal, fetal medicine, preconception, premarital, adult-onset genetic diseases, and Newborn screening for metabolic disorders-related counseling. She holds her Master’s degree in Biochemistry from Osmania University.