Scanning During Pregnancy – Assessing the Risk of Spina Bifida.
Anomaly scanning in pregnancy is used to detect structural problems during pregnancy and is undertaken between 19 and 21 weeks gestation.
An anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound scan that is designed to take a closer look at your developing baby to detect problems such as spina bifida, as well as a range of other conditions. The scan is taken between 19-24 weeks (optimum is 20weeks) and it is performed trans-abdominally. During the anomaly scan, you will be able to clearly see how your baby is developing structurally, showing their hands, feet, spine and more. It also shows where the placenta is lying in your uterus. You may also request to see your baby’s gender at this detailed ultrasound scan.
The sonographer will take measurements of the baby’s head circumference, abdominal circumference and femur bone lengths. They will examine the developing organs, amniotic fluid and look for any abnormalities that can be visible on the anomaly scan such as cleft lip, spina bifida or abdominal wall defects. If any abnormalities are present or suspected, the sonographer will let you know during your scan. Here is a full list of all of the conditions that can be seen on the anomaly scan, although it is important to mention that some abnormalities are easier to spot than others:
- Spinal cord defects (such as spina bifida)
- Abdominal wall defects
- Missing or short limbs
- Cleft lip
- Excess fluid within the brain
- Major kidney problems
- Diaphragmatic hernia
- Major heart problems
- Absence of the top of the head
If your sonographer finds a potential problem, you will be informed immediately and advised on the next steps that you should take. This usually involves arranging an appointment with a fetal medicine specialist within 72 hours. We will guide you through the process and give you as much information as possible. It is important to mention however that in about 15% of cases, a follow up scan will be required. This is not necessarily because of a potential problem; it may simply be that the sonographer has not seen everything that they need to because the baby is not in a good position. In this instance, it is recommended that the anomaly scan is repeated at 23 weeks.
Examination carried out to Fetal Anomaly Screening Standards (FASP).
Get in touch with First View Imaging in Hampshire to arrange your anomaly scan. The cost is £100 (19-24 weeks) and takes 30 minutes. All ultrasound scans include thermal images and a USB drive in PC format at no extra cost (short moving clips included).