The Ultrasound and Fetal Medicine unit offers a consultant-led service. Using state of the art ultrasound equipment, you and your Obstetrician can be informed about the anomalies, fetal well-being and growth which will aid in clinical decision regarding the further antenatal care and mode of delivery.
|Scan Type||When to do|
|Early Pregnancy & Dating||6-10 weeks|
|Combined Screening Test||12-13 weeks +/- 6 days|
|Fetal anomaly scan (2nd Trimester)||19-21 weeks|
|Growth Scan||28 weeks onwards|
The first early ultrasound scan provides you and your consultant with important information about the number of babies and the expected date of delivery. The presence of a pregnancy and of the fetal heart can be seen from 6 weeks gestation by vaginal scan and from 8-9 weeks by abdominal scan. Accurate measurements and images are taken of the gestational sac, the crown to rump length of the embryo, to accurately date the pregnancy, and assess the pelvic region to exclude pathology.
The combined screening test involves serum blood screening in early pregnancy in combination with nuchal scanning and maternal age to identify pregnancies at high risk of complications/abnormalities. The combination of these factors allows the detection of about 85% of Down's Syndrome cases and also those at high risk for Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18). This test is performed between 11.5 -13 weeks +6 days gestation and if the results show an increased risk, a diagnostic test is offered such as chorionic villus sampling from 11 weeks or amniocentesis after 15 weeks.
These tests are designed to detect the three common birth defects: Down’s, Edwards and Patau’s syndrome.
A chorionic villus sampling diagnostic test (CVS) is performed 11-14 weeks of pregnancy. Using ultrasound guidance, a sample of placental tissue is taken using a needle inserted through the abdominal wall or fine forceps through the cervix. The tissue collected is then tested for chromosomal abnormalities. Preliminary results are usually available within 2-3 working days with a full report available within 2-3 weeks.
An amniocentesis is performed from 15 weeks onwards. Using ultrasound guidance, a sample of amniotic fluid is taken using a needle inserted through the abdominal wall. The fluid collected is then tested for chromosomal abnormalities. Preliminary results are usually available within 2-3 working days with a full report available within 2-3 weeks.
Between 19-21 weeks the anatomy of your baby is scanned in detail so that any information about the many body systems, such as the urinary tract, digestive tract, heart and major blood vessels, brain and others, can be imaged and interpreted. The careful and accurate measurements made during the scan help to monitor the wellbeing of your baby.
Consultation and scanning is available in our Fetal Medicine unit specialist scans of the heart and major blood vessels. This is carried out by cardiologists and involves comprehensive real-time scanning and counselling to diagnose or exclude malformation of the heart. 3D/4D scan will be helpful to identify external body structure anomalies.
Our highly specialised Consultant Clinical Geneticists Dr Nisha Bineesh MD, provide information through investigations, diagnosis, and risk estimation to enable the patient and their family to make decisions on the most appropriate course of action and treatment. The service supports pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for patients undergoing In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and fetal medicine genetics including pre-natal counselling, testing and diagnosis. Outpatient clinics are also available at Genetics counselling unit.