Typically, it is recommended that women over 35 and pregnant have a high resolution ultrasound to confirm an abnormality that was revealed on a previous ultrasound. Mothers who have given birth to a child with a genetic condition or birth defect should also undergo this procedure. If anything, this is important not to find something, but to make sure something is not there.What the Ultrasound Could RevealThis advanced technology is a helpful procedure in determining whether a child is at risk for a number of birth defects and genetic conditions such as:
Edwards syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18
Hydrocephalus, which is a condition where abnormal amounts of fluid fills cavities of the brain
Trisomy 13, which is a chromosomal condition related to intellectual and physical disabilities
What Happens During the ProcedureIf your doctor has recommend this procedure for you, it should occur during the second trimester of your pregnancy. It is similar to a standard ultrasound, except the information gleaned from it is more detailed. Be prepared for the entire procedure to take approximate 30-45 minutes.The effectiveness of this advanced ultrasound improves if you have the test on a full bladder. You will lie down before the technician applies a special gel to your abdomen.
The gel will pick up high-frequency sound waves that the device creates. These sound waves reflect off structures inside your body to form a detailed picture of your baby.With a transducer instrument that is moved over your abdomen, clear, precise images of different parts of your baby is captured. Images of the baby’s spine, internal organs, brain, placental structure and extremities are seen and measured. This is done to determine whether the baby is growing normally and healthily.
What the Results Could MeanEven with the high accuracy rates of detecting certain birth defects during this type of ultrasound procedure, every possible condition cannot be diagnosed by this test alone. Additionally, there are other contributing factors, such as the age and size of the baby, which could impact results. Therefore, unusual results is not an automatic cause for you to worry.Just because some risks for a genetic condition are present does not automatically mean your baby will be born with a birth defect. Likewise, an ultrasound that does not reveal any abnormalities does not mean your baby will not have a birth defect at birth. The best thing to do is keep communications open with your medical team so you are never in the dark or caught off guard.