TYPES OF ULTRASOUND SERVICES OFFERED

  • Early pregnancy scan: This scan is useful for the woman who has either missed her period or is having a delayed menses but is not sure if she is pregnant. It is also very useful in a woman with a previous ectopic gestation. This is carried out at about the time a woman misses or believes she missed her period or a few weeks after. It helps diagnose if the woman is pregnant and how many weeks or months the pregnancy is since her last period. It could help assess the site of the pregnancy, decide if there is ectopic pregnancy or not or if there is more than one baby. It could also assess for any form of miscarriage especially if the woman is bleeding or has pain in the lower abdomen. Any swellings especially of the ovary or a co-existing fibroid may also be detected and advice given. Based on the very accurate dating provided by this scan, plans for monitoring and delivery can be made.
  • 11 to 13 weeks scan (basic): This is a routine scan that checks just the basic features of the pregnancy like the age, number of babies, placenta, etc. It is however advised that women doing a scan at this stage should go for a full scale 11 – 13 week screening which gives more information. This scan also assesses the details of the pregnancy including formation of the tissues, gender of the baby, fetal heart rate. An early detailed scan can also be performed for the really high risk pregnancies.
  • 11 to 13 week aneuploidy screening: This is a very useful scan especially for those women with previous unfavourable outcome like a miscarriage/abortion or an abnormally formed baby. It is also useful in those with a chronic illness like diabetes mellitus and women of advanced age (those women above 35 years). This scan checks for the presence of a pregnancy, the site, the number and the gestational age accurately and does an early detailed scan. In addition, it is used as a screening scan to assess the risk of a baby having abnormal development like Down’s syndrome (mongolism) and other problems of development. If the chance of having any of the conditions is high, she is offered a specialised procedure whereby some placenta tissue [chorionic villus sampling] or part of the liquor around the baby [amniocentesis] is sent for a highly technical test to determine the genetic make up of the baby).
  • 18 to 22 weeks scan: This scan is expected to be the most popular in our environment. It is the scan that enables us to see virtually all the structures of the baby well enough to determine if they are well formed. In addition, it may help detect early enough, any other associated problems and why those problems are occurring. Conditions like diaphragmatic hernia, umbilical hernia, congenital heart disease and brain anomalies can be diagnosed. It is one of those times that a mother gets to see the various organs of the baby and see and hear the heart beating. The vessels supplying the baby blood from the mother are also checked along with the placenta to be sure they are well sited and connected.  
  • Doppler scans: This is a special type of scan that is being introduced into our practice. It measures the way blood flows to the various organs of the baby including the brain. It is important for those babies that are judged not to be growing well. This test determines if the blood supply to the brain and other vital structures of the baby is adequate and could help determine the best time to deliver the baby for best results. In addition, women with unsure dates may also benefit from the Doppler scan as it can help decide if the risk of extending the duration of the pregnancy is higher than delivering the baby sooner.
  • Fetal growth monitoring: Babies who are judged to be at risk for growing poorly should be followed up regularly, preferably by obstetric ultrasound, to diagnose poor growth, determine the cause and the extent of the growth restriction and decide what form of therapy is necessary to improve healthy survival. In severe cases, checking the movement, heart function and liquor [the biophysical profile] can help decide if the baby will benefit from earlier delivery or not.
  • Biophysical profile: This is a special type of fetal evaluation indicated for babies that are at high risk of morbidity or mortality. Some indications include fetuses that are not growing well, are at risk of preterm delivery or a woman with previous still birth or bad outcome. Parameters assessed include fetal tone, breathing movement, gross body movement, liquor and the CTG. The evaluation cansometimes take over 30 minutes to perform. It may give indication for immediate delivery of the fetus or the confidence to delay very preterm delivery.

 

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