Dedicated In-House Ultrasound Specialists at East Lakeland
- Transvaginal Scans—a specifically designed probe transducer is placed inside the vagina to generate sonogram images. This is type of ultrasound is used for gynecologic problems and in the early stages of pregnancy.
- Standard Ultrasound – Traditional ultrasound exam which uses a transducer over the abdomen to generate 2-D images of the developing fetus.
- Advanced Ultrasound – This exam is similar to the standard ultrasound, but the exam targets a suspected problem and uses more sophisticated equipment.
- Doppler Ultrasound – This imaging procedure measures slight changes in the frequency of the ultrasound waves as they bounce off moving objects, such as blood cells.
- 3-D Ultrasound – Uses specially designed probes and software to generate 3-D images of the developing fetus. This type of ultrasound is recommend between 27 and 30 weeks gestation.
- 4-D or Dynamic 3-D Ultrasound – Uses specially designed scanners to look at the face and movements of the baby prior to delivery. This type of ultrasound is recommend between 27 and 30 weeks gestation.
When are ultrasounds performed?
Ultrasounds may be performed for a variety of gynecologic complaints, including abnormal bleeding, pelvic pain, painful periods, painful intercourse. Ultrasounds are also used in monitoring intrauterine contraceptive devices.
Ultrasounds are often obtained early in pregnancy to help with obtaining a due date and to diagnose abnormal pregnancies, such as potential ectopics or miscarriages.
Ultrasounds are also used in the second trimester, approximately 20 weeks) to evaluate the baby’s anatomy. The brain, heart, kidneys, bladder, extremities, and spine are all imaged. Although ultrasound is not perfect, a normal anatomy survey increases the probability that the baby does not have any major birth defects. However, there are some structures, such as skin, that cannot be imaged. The anatomy survey will also evaluate gender. An additional ultrasound can be obtained earlier in pregnancy (approximately 16 weeks) to look at fetal gender, although this is not a medically indicated exam
Additional ultrasounds might be ordered separately if your healthcare provider suspects a complication or problem related to your pregnancy.
What does the ultrasound look for?
Ultrasounds are diagnostic procedures that detect or aid in the detection of abnormalities and conditions related to pregnancy.
An ultrasound exam may be performed throughout pregnancy for the following medically-necessary reasons:
- Confirm viable pregnancy
- Confirm heartbeat
- Establish a due date
- Confirm molar or ectopic pregnancies
- Assess abnormal gestation
- Diagnose fetal malformation (Weeks 18-20 for congenital malformations)
- Structural abnormalities
- Verify dates and growth
- Evaluation of fetal well-being
- Identify placental location
- Evaluate amniotic fluid levels
- Confirm fetal well being
- Estimation of fetal growth
- Observe fetal presentation
- Observe fetal movements
- Identify uterine and pelvic abnormalities of the mother
What are the risks and side effects to the mother or baby?
The ultrasound is a noninvasive procedure which, when used properly, has not demonstrated fetal harm. The long-term effects of repeated ultrasound exposures on the fetus are not fully known. It is recommended that ultrasound only be used if medically indicated.
1. William’s Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al, Ch. 16.
2. American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine