This exam is usually included in the 11-14 week ultrasound, and is used as a screening tool for chromosome, cardiac and structural abnormalities.
Anatomy that can be seen in the first trimester will be assessed at this time as well as a measurement of a fluid space at the back of the neck known as the nuchal translucency. This test may be done in conjunction with other genetic screening. You will need a full bladder for this ultrasound
Offered in the second trimester, usually between 18-22 weeks, an advanced level 2 ultrasound is performed evaluating the fetal size in addition to a comprehensive assessment of the fetal anatomy.
An evaluation of your baby’s(s) internal organ systems to also include the brain, spine, limbs as well as detailed cardiac views and gender (if desired). The placenta and maternal structures will also be assessed at this time. You do not need a full balder at for this ultrasound.
Ideally performed between 20 to 24 weeks, a fetal echocardiogram can be performed at any time in the second and third trimesters.
A fetal echocardiogram is an evaluation of fetal cardiac structures and function in high risk pregnancies. Detailed measurements of the chambers, valves, vessels and other structures of the heart will be performed to include Color and Spectral Doppler evaluations for cardiac hemodynamics. You do not need a full balder at for this ultrasound.
Follow up ultrasounds are preformed to evaluate your baby’s(s) size and growth patterns, monitor amniotic fluid levels and assess placental function and fetal well-being.
If the clinical need arises, the physician may request a Biophysical Profile—typically done in the third trimester—to ensure your baby(s) are not under any stress. Amniotic fluid is measured and the movement and breathing of the baby(s) are assessed.
Ultrasound Doppler Flow is also occasionally measured in blood vessels to determine the speed and pattern of flow to evaluate if the baby’s(s) are receiving sufficient nutrients and oxygen.
This exam can be performed during any trimester. In the first trimester it is often used to obtain accurate measurements of the developing fetus and evaluated the maternal anatomy. In the second and third trimesters it is commonly used to evaluate the length of the cervix and to screen for preterm labor. The location of the placenta is also assessed.