London Ultrasound Clinic News

 


 

  • 0 Understanding 2D and 3D pregnancy ultrasounds

    0.00 of 0 votes

    If you’re expecting a baby, you can most certainly expect an ultrasound. Sure, the word “ultrasound” sounds complicated, but it’s not. In fact, it is simply making use of sound waves to produce pictures of the baby on a screen or monitor. Because this involves bouncing the sound waves off of internal objects to produce an image, it is considered safe for mother-to-be and baby and can help ensure baby is healthy and mom side-steps common pregnancy complications, by aiding in diagnosis and treatment of a variety of medical conditions, making pregnancy ultrasound a true must-have. NHS offers at least two ultrasound scans during pregnancy but you can also opt for a private ultrasound in London.  The pregnancy ultrasound scan generally takes less than 20 minutes and is performed at different times during the pregnancy. It is expected that a fetal ultrasound will be performed in the first trimester of pregnancy called early pregnancy scan, in the second trimester and the third. A healthcare provider may perform the foetal ultrasound at different times, but many perform ultrasounds at eight to 12 weeks of pregnancy to determine the actual due date by viewing the fetus and its size; at 10-13 weeks to check the development of the brain and spinal cord; at 16-20 weeks to check baby’s size, growth and likelihood of birth defects; and in the last trimester to check the amount of amniotic fluid and the baby’s overall well-being and development.  A general baby ultrasound produces a 2D (a two-dimensional still view) image of the fetus. Oftentimes, a healthcare provider will perform a 3D (a 3-dimensional still view) ultrasound, which is considered a level II exam, to take a more detailed look at the fetus. A moving view of the 3D technology is called a 4D ultrasound. Ultrasounds are performed by a healthcare specialist called sonographer who applies a handheld device called a transducer across the pregnant woman’s abdomen. This scan is called transabdominal ultrasound. It may also be performed as transvaginal ultrasound, or by inserting the hand-held transducer into the pregnant woman’s vagina. This is not painful, but the pregnant woman will experience slight pressure. In short, ultrasonography is an important tool for any pregnant woman and her baby, so make sure you discuss this with your healthcare provider.

  • 0 Ectopic Pregnancy

    0.00 of 0 votes

      Ectopic pregnancy is one of the more serious complications of pregnancy and it is one of the most common reasons for an early pregnancy scan. An ectopic pregnancy happens when the products of fertilization implants and develops beyond the confines of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy is almost always not viable, except for very few instances. This condition can bring bleeding within the abdominal cavity which can be fatal for the mother. The most common form of ectopic pregnancy is one that takes places within the fallopian tubes, which is also called a tubal pregnancy. Other locations of implantation are the ovaries, cervix, and the abdomen. As has been mentioned, this condition can bring bleeding and death, and as such should be treated as an emergency. The course of a normal uterine pregnancy starts when the uterus receives the newly fertilized egg. The egg implants itself in the nutrient-rich uterine lining where it will eventually develop. On the other hand, in ectopic pregnancy, this process does not take place in the uterus: 98% of the time it happens in the Fallopian tubes.   Diagnosis  With the current advances in diagnostic tools and procedures such as the early pregnancy scan, ectopic pregnancy can be detected and addressed earlier. However, in spite of the diagnostic advances, this condition is still the main cause of morbidity and mortality among mothers all over the world. An increase in the incidence of ectopic pregnancy can be found in countries with substandard prenatal imaging and care. International Ultrasound Services offers same day early pregnancy scans as well as other private pregnancy scans in an effort to speed up diagnosis and treatment. Ectopic pregnancy takes place when the fertilized egg implants into the lining of the Fallopian tube. The egg eventually erodes into the surrounding blood vessels, bringing about bleeding. The bleeding that takes places within the Fallopian tube will push the egg out of the tube, ending up in what is called a tubal abortion. The Fallopian tube does not undergo inflammation in this case, and the pain is brought about by the prostaglandins present at the actual area of implantation and the irritation due to the presence of blood in the peritoneum. When bleeding becomes more profuse, it can bring about the threat to the mother. While the common cause of the increase in bleeding is the delay in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy, some bleeding takes place a little faster. This is especially true when the implantation takes place in the proximal area of the Fallopian tube. In this case, the egg may eventually erode into the Sampson artery located in close proximity to the tube. In 50% of cases, ectopic pregnancies resolve by itself, without intervention. This is especially true with tubal abortions. Currently, the need to perform the surgery has been drastically reduced with the introduction of methotrexate in the treatment of ectopic pregnancy. It should be remembered, though, that surgery will still have to be performed when the Fallopian tubes is near rupture or have already ruptured. Surgery may entail a limited incision via a laparoscopic method, or a larger incision may be used, in which case it is called a laparotomy.   Ectopic Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms The early signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy are usually so subtle, if they are even present, which is why it is quite difficult to make an early diagnosis. The average time for the signs and symptoms of ectopic pregnancy to present themselves is about 7.2 weeks following the last menstruation, and the range is from 5 to 8 weeks. Diagnosis may come in even later for areas where facilities are insufficient.   The following are the early presentations of ectopic pregnancy: Hypogastric pain accompanied by a sensation of swelling. The pain may be perceived as intense stomach pain, but the pain may also occur in the form of a strong cramping sensation.Dysuria, or pain when urinatingA vague abdominal discomfort which is similar to symptoms brought about by the presence of corpus luteum in the ovaryMild vaginal bleeding. This is a form of withdrawal bleeding, a phenomenon that occurs when progesterone levels go down. This symptom may also be noted during the early stage of pregnancy (also called “implantation bleed”) or during a miscarriage.Abdominal pain during a bowel movement.Later on, ectopic pregnancy presents itself as pain and bleeding, which may be vaginal or abdominal, or both. The causes of bleeding are as follows: Hormonal trigger, i.e., a drop in the level of progesterone•  Peritoneal bleeding secondary to rupture of the Fallopian tube Some of the differential diagnoses are miscarriage and normal pregnancy in its early stage. Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, is the most common faulty diagnosis for ectopic pregnancy. To rule out the presence of PID, a pregnancy test can be performed. A positive pregnancy test essentially rules out PID because a pregnancy that is concurrent with an active pelvic infection is very rare. When bleeding becomes more profuse, the following symptoms may occur: •  Pain which may be located at the lower back, abdomen, and pelvis •  Shoulder pain. This is regarded as a dangerous sign because it indicates irritation of the diaphragm secondary to the blood that is filling up the abdomen. •  Unilateral pelvic tenderness and cramping sensation •  The pain is comparatively acute as opposed to other more chronic pelvic pain, which worsens with time. Ectopic pregnancy should also be differentiated from other conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, and other gynaecological, gastrointestinal, and urinary problems.   Ectopic Pregnancy Causes While a number of risk factors for ectopic pregnancy have been identified in previous studies, no particular risk factor can be singled out in 30 to 50 per cent of cases. Infertility, smoking, endometriosis, a previous history of pelvic inflammatory disease, prior use of DES, a history of D & C or other uterine surgeries, tubal surgery, use of an IUD or intrauterine device, tubal ligation, and a history of ectopic pregnancy are just some of the risk factors enumerated.   Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment Medical Methotrexate has been used for the nonsurgical treatment of ectopic pregnancy since 1993. Methotrexate can halt the growth of the embryo, inducing either an abortion or resorption of the embryologic tissue or the passage of the products of conception during the woman's regular menstrual period. If administered early enough, methotrexate is effective in terminating ectopic pregnancy.   Surgical   Surgical treatment may have to be initiated once bleeding has set in. In a patient with only little bleeding seen on ultrasound, however, the decision to perform surgery turns into a dilemma. Studies to back this up will have to be identified. Two surgical procedures, laparoscopy and laparotomy, can be used by the surgeons. Both approaches can provide a visualization of the pelvis and the affected Fallopian tube. The tube can then be incised either by taking out only the portion where the embryo has implanted (salpingostomy) or by taking out the entire tube (salpingectomy). Robert Lawson Tait is credited for doing the first successful surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, which took place in 1883.   Author- Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Medical Ultrasound Practitioner  Specialities:   Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.     Reviewed: 07/04/2020 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)  and Tareq Ismail  Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)

  • 0 Pregnancy & Ultrasound

    0.00 of 0 votes

    Ultrasound in Pregnancy Ultrasound is a ubiquitous technology in all areas of medicine but many people are confusing it with other diagnostic imaging modalities. It is not unusual to find people putting it in the same bracket as an x-ray. This misguided impression can quite understandably evoke significant anxiety, especially where pregnancy is concerned. Let’s start by stating a simple but important fact. Ultrasound does not involve ionising radiation.Ultrasound is a form of sound waves generated at very high frequency. This will be in the range of 3.5 to 7 million cycles per second (Megahertz). Normal sound waves audible to the ear are at a much lower frequency of fewer than 20 thousand cycles per second.  How Ultrasound Works The sound waves are produced by a crystal built in the probe used for the test. The waves are then reflected from the various structures they encounter as they travel through the body. The data produced by the reflected waves is then processed by the computer in the scanning machine to produce an image on the screen representative of the reflecting structures. That is how the detailed image of the pregnant uterus and baby within, complete with movements, is produced and seen in real-time. The conventional position for an obstetric ultrasound is on your back, usually propped up comfortably to allow you a clear view of the monitor screen. A clear, water-based conducting gel is applied to the abdomen. The gel helps transmit the sound waves. A hand-held probe is then moved over the area in a systematic way. Alternatively, the ultrasound scan is performed with the probe placed in the vagina (transvaginal ultrasound scanning). This technique often complements conventional transabdominal ultrasound techniques by providing better detail especially in the very early phase of pregnancy such as in the early pregnancy scan. A woman will normally be advised accordingly if this is deemed to be the more appropriate route or sometimes as an additional measure if the abdominal route has not provided all the required information.   Preparation A full bladder is necessary to get a good picture. Therefore, the person due to being scanned will be asked to drink a few glasses of water (or similar) an hour or so before the test and to refrain from urinating before the procedure. A full bladder is, however, not necessary for the transvaginal Ultrasound. There may be some slight discomfort from pressure on the full bladder otherwise the procedure is perfectly painless. The conducting gel may feel slightly cold and wet. There is no perception of the sound waves and of-course you cannot hear them. When to have a Scan Scans may be performed in the First Trimester to: Confirm a normal pregnancy Confirm viability Assess the baby's age (gestation) Assess potential problems such as threatened miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy etc. Assess the baby's heartbeat Confirm the number of embryos/fetuses Identify any abnormalities of the placenta, uterus, and other pelvic structures The main early trimester scans are the early pregnancy scan and the dating scan. In the Second Trimester (after 13 weeks) Assess the baby's age, growth, position, and sometimes gender. A detailed look at the baby’s vital organs and limbs to identify or rule out any possible congenital problems. Identify any developmental (growth) problems Rule out multiple pregnancies Evaluate the placenta, amniotic fluid, and other pelvic organs. In the Third Trimester (after 26 weeks):Scans not normally required at this stage except when monitoring pregnancy development and fetal wellbeing in special situations: these may include: Multiple pregnancies Suspected fetal growth problems Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy etc. Pre-eclampsiaOther situations where a scan may be called for are when there is a need to: Detect cervical changes that might predict preterm labour. Verify breech presentation or other uncommon fetal or cord position before delivery. Get valuable information leading to treatment of any conditions arising in the course of a pregnancy in a bid to improve a woman’s chances of having a healthy baby.  Scan Aided Tests and Procedures Pregnancy ultrasound plays a crucial role in antenatal care. Some tests which are routinely done for diagnostic purposes are directly ultrasound-guided. Such tests include: Amniocentesis: This is the most well-known and commonest invasive test used to make a diagnosis of any condition that may be affecting the fetus. It is commonly performed in the early second trimester (15 – 16 weeks) and is now routinely ultrasound-guided. An amniocentesis is a test in which the cells that are floating in the fluid surrounding the fetus are examined for the chromosomal pattern of the fetus. The operator will have the ultrasound probe on the abdomen and will guide the fine needle used under direct ultrasound guidance into the womb. Once the tip is seen to be inside a pool of amniotic fluid, a sample will be drawn for the test. Normally this takes a few short minutes and in the vast majority, only one attempt is sufficient.Amniocentesis results are usually available two to three weeks after the test. Amniocentesis carries a risk of losing the pregnancy of about 0.5 - 1% (1 in 100-200). Age is probably the commonest indication for requesting amniocentesis usually for the diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome. This is because, all other factors being normal, the older the mother, the higher the risk of Down’s and other chromosomal disorders. A 21-year-old mother has a 1:1700 risk of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome, a 30 year old 1:950, at 40 the risk is almost 1:100 and by 45 years of age, it is 1:30.As mentioned earlier while these statistics refer to the most recognized chromosomal anomaly, there are other anomalies, some of them incompatible with life. It is therefore important for any prospective mother to be aware that the overall risk of all chromosomal anomalies is significantly higher than that of Down’s alone at any stage of life. A 201-year-old will, therefore, have an overall chromosomal abnormalities risk (for her baby) of about 1:500 and at 40 the risk would have risen to 1:66.CVS: This stands for Chorionic Villus Sampling which simply means taking a biopsy from the developing placenta. It is also ultrasound-guided. The procedure is also performed under direct ultrasound guidance. It differs from amniocentesis in three major aspects: It can and is usually performed earlier in the pregnancy. This is towards the end of the first trimester. Results are available much more rapidly with a normal turnaround of 48 – 72 hours. It has a significantly higher procedure associated miscarriage rate which could be as much as twice that of amniocentesis. Fetal Echocardiography: Congenital heart defects occur in about 1% of live births. Causes are multiple and sometimes cannot be identified. Whilst a routine detailed ultrasound scan performed at 18-20 weeks will focus on the heart among other major organs, not all defects will be detected. It is also sometimes necessary to perform a much more detailed study of the baby’s heart. This specialised structural study using ultrasound is called echocardiography or popularly just shortened as ‘echo’. Situations, where this may be recommended, include: A family history of congenital heart disease An abnormal fetal heart rhythm detected during a routine examination. Fetal heart abnormalities detected during a routine pregnancy ultrasound scan Abnormality of another major organ system such as the gut or lungs. Insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes Exposure to some drugs in very early pregnancy. For example, some anticonvulsants used to treat epilepsy can damage the developing heart. If the mother has abused alcohol or drugs during pregnancy If a mother has diabetes, phenylketonuria, or a connective tissue disease such as lupus If the mother has had rubella during pregnancy Diagnosis of some chromosomal abnormalities   Cordocentesis Sometimes it becomes necessary to obtain a sample of blood from the umbilical cord of the unborn baby, usually for diagnostic purposes. This requires direct ultrasound visualization. This would simply not be feasible without the aid of ultrasound. In some condition, transfusion of blood into the unborn baby is performed. Again, this is directly dependent on ultrasound.There are many other areas where ultrasound in pregnancy is not only useful but indispensable. These include localization of the placenta which could help determine the safest mode and timing of delivery, checking pattern of blood flow in the cord, a useful feature in monitoring fetal well-being in at-risk fetuses, estimating fetal weight which could be useful in making important decisions and many more.   Biophysical ProfileSometimes there is concern about the unborn baby’s wellbeing. This may be because the baby is not moving well, growth is unsatisfactory or the pregnant mother is suffering from such conditions as pre-eclampsia, diabetes etc. It may, in such circumstances, be deemed necessary to monitor the baby closely and one of the strategies sometimes adopted is to perform what is known as a biophysical profile > With this one checks the baby’s movements, general muscle tone, breathing movements and fetal heart pattern. Apart from the latter, the rest is all done by using ultrasound.   Transvaginal Ultrasound scanning   The idea of having the scan performed vaginally can and does provoke anxiety for some women. It is important to say that this is a safe procedure and does not in any way pose a risk to either mother or baby.In very early pregnancy, this may be the preferable method of scanning as it produces sharper details and may give crucial information otherwise unobtainable (using trans-abdominal scanning). It is also the case that a transvaginal scan does not require a full bladder, not the most comfortable of requirement especially for an expectant mother struggling with perpetual nausea. A vaginal scan also circumvents the difficulties with obtaining a good view of the embryo/fetus in early pregnancy for women who are overweight or obese.   Amniotic FluidUltrasound scanning is quite useful in estimating the amniotic fluid volume. This is easy to do and in most cases, this will be normal. However, where the volume is found to be reduced or increased, it could be a very important gauge of the baby’s wellbeing. It may also be the first warning that something is not quite right with the baby and could trigger further, more specific, tests. Serial ultrasound scan monitoring of fluid volume is sometimes used to monitor the progress of a pregnancy and together with other tests could be used to make a decision on the timing and/or mode of delivery. Placental locationIt is not possible through a physical examination to tell the exact location of a placenta in the womb. For the majority of pregnant women, this is really of no importance. However, about 1 in 50 mothers (2%) will have placenta praevia (low-lying placenta) at term. This is a potentially dangerous condition for both mother and baby and most of those affected will need close antenatal observation and delivery by caesarean section. Ultrasound scanning does accurately locate the placenta and aid in making these crucial decisions.It is important to stress that almost one in five women will be found to have a ‘low-lying’ placenta at their 20 weeks pregnancy scan. This is no cause for panic as for the vast majority of them, the placenta will be normally located by the time they get to the third trimester. Many units offer a repeat ultrasound scan at around 32-34 weeks as a form of reassurance. Placental abruptionPlacenta praevia (above) is not to be confused with Placental abruption (abruption placenta). The two conditions are not related even though for both the main concern is severe haemorrhage that is associated with them. In placental abruption, the placenta gets partly or wholly detached from the womb. That will cause bleeding and in most cases, pain. The extent of the bleeding and therefore its effect on the baby will depend on the degree of placental detachment. Ultrasound scanning has a limited role in placental abruption. The diagnosis is mainly secured on a clinical presentation rather than ultrasound findings. Twins and ultrasound scanningIn days gone by, it was not unusual for twins and rarely other forms of multiple pregnancies not to be discovered until the time of delivery. Ultrasound changed all that. It is exceedingly unusual for that to happen in modern times in most developed countries. Over 95% of mothers in the United Kingdom have antenatal ultrasound scans and the figure is just over 70% in the USA. Even in those countries where ultrasound scans are not offered as a matter of course, the obstetrician or midwife looking after the pregnant woman will suspect the presence of multiple pregnancies in the course of examining her abdomen. This will usually trigger a recommendation for an ultrasound scan. Confirming the number of fetuses is then, in most cases, a straightforward affair. Identical or not?Many prospective mothers carrying twins are anxious to know whether the babies are identical or not. In many (but not all) cases it is possible to tell whether they are or not using ultrasound scanning.If the twins are sharing the same gestation sac or even if they are in different sacs but sharing the same placenta, they are then definitely identical. This is, however, not that common (and a good thing too).Most twins have separate placentas and sacs. These could be identical or non-identical. It is sometimes possible to tell with a fair degree of confidence whether such twins are identical or not depending on the timing of the ultrasound scan. Of-course if the twins are of different sex, that is confirmatory that they are non-identical. However, it is only possible to tell the gender of a fetus after about 16-17 weeks. The babies have also got to be in a favourable position to be able to do this.Sharing a sac or placenta not good?This is not the best form for twins as there are significant potential complications unique to this type of twins. Some of these complications can be life-threatening for the one or both babies. The subject is discussed further in the section on multiple pregnancies. Doppler UltrasoundWhen there are problems or suspected complications, this special type of ultrasound may be employed to try to get important information which may aid in decision making. It takes its name from the 19th-century Austrian physicist Christian Doppler who was the first to describe the phenomenon. So, what is it?Doppler ultrasound is a form of ultrasound that can detect and measure blood flow. Doppler ultrasound depends on the Doppler effect, a change in the frequency of a wave resulting here from the motion of a reflector, in this case, the red blood cells.If you are keen to know what the various types of Doppler Ultrasound are, here we will attempt to explain. It is not a walk in the park. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. Colour Doppler -- This technique estimates the average velocity of flow within a vessel by colour coding the information. The direction of blood flow is assigned the colour red or blue, indicating flow toward or away from the ultrasound probe (transducer). Pulsed Doppler -- This method allows a sampling volume or "gate" to be positioned in a vessel visualized on the grey-scale image, and displays a graph of the full range of blood velocities within the gate versus time. The amplitude of the signal is approximately proportional to the number of red blood cells and is indicated, not in colour, but simply as a shade of grey. Power Doppler -- This device depicts the amplitude, or power, of Doppler signals rather than the frequency shift. This allows detection of a larger range of Doppler shifts and thus better visualisation of small vessels, but at the expense of directional and velocity information.  Color Doppler depicts blood flow in a region and is used as a guide for the placement of the pulsed Doppler gate for more detailed analysis at a particular site.Doppler ultrasound has many applications including, for example, the detection and measurement of decreased or obstructed blood flow to the legs as in suspected DVT. Colour Doppler ultrasound is done first to evaluate vessels rapidly for abnormalities and to guide placement of the pulsed Doppler to gain sample volume for detailed analysis of velocities. The bottom line:It is very difficult to imagine modern obstetrics without ultrasound. It is an integral part of the care of the pregnant mother and her unborn baby and there is no doubt at all that millions of people across the globe arguably owe their lives to this technology which is now taken as a matter of course. Twins and other forms of multiple pregnancies FrequencyAbout 1% of spontaneous conceptions among the Caucasian population will be twins or other less common forms of multiple pregnancies. The rate is slightly higher for those of black African ancestry and somewhat lower for Japanese and others of oriental ancestry. The rate of multiple pregnancies in assisted conception such as IVF is significantly higher. For any individual woman, family history is a significant factor. If a woman is a twin herself, she has a much higher chance than average of having twins herself. The same applies to a woman who has first-degree twin relatives i.e. siblings or parents. The rate of identical twins is however constant and is not influenced by age, race, family history or any other factors. Monozygotic twins is another term to describe identical twins. The rate is roughly 4 per 1,000 births. Twin IssuesTwins may be exciting but these pregnancies also have their own specific challenges. It is important to stress up-front that the majority of twin pregnancies, upwards of 85%, have a completely successful outcome and dispel the impression that twin pregnancy is automatically bad news.That done, let's turn to the common saying, which happens to be largely true, that doctors and midwives like repeating when speaking about twin pregnancies. The saying goes “all pregnancy complications are commoner in twins apart from prolonged pregnancy”. That is an important and honest starting point. So, when you talk of prematurity, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, growth restriction, antepartum haemorrhage, postpartum haemorrhage, it is a true general statement that the risk of any of these is higher, the bigger the number of babies a woman is carrying. Unique Twin Issues: Increased risk of pregnancy complications is not the only issue that needs to be dealt with. There are problems that are unique to twin pregnancy. The most important one of these is a twin-to-twin transfusion. This condition occurs only in identical (monozygotic twins) and specifically those who share a placenta. The medical term for a common placenta in twins is monochorionic. It is true that twins that share a placenta have got multiple blood vessel communications within that placenta. These communications are not always a problem and in many if not most cases there is no problem as there is physiological equilibration of the blood flow in both. However, for some, these communications are a problem which is sometimes lethal for one or both. This is brought about by an imbalance in the blood flow whereby one ends up as a ‘donor’ and the other a ‘recipient’. It means there is a net flow of blood to the recipient and this is the one at greatest risk as he/she gets overloaded. Can anything be done? When twin-to-twin transfusion is suspected or diagnosed, the care becomes a specialist issue. There will be serial ultrasound scanning to track the progress of the condition of the twins. Other tests will also be done to keep a close eye on the babies. Sometimes intervention is required to try to reduce the severity of the condition. In most cases, delivery is early to try to prevent further deterioration. Not all cases of twin-to-twin transfusion are that severe. Some are mild enough not to require any intervention. Vanishing twin It is true but probably not widely recognised that twin pregnancies in the second and third trimester represent at most two-third of pregnancies that start as such. What does this mean? Basically, it means, a lot more pregnancies start as twins. For a variety of reasons some embryos in twin pregnancies do not make it beyond the first few weeks and these pregnancies continue as singleton pregnancies. Some of these women would have had early ultrasound scans say at 6 or 7 weeks. Presence of twins would have been identified then and a repeat scan a few weeks down the line a repeat scan shows, not two, but one fetus. The other twin has ‘vanished’.As mentioned earlier, this phenomenon is estimated to affect up to a third of all twins that start as such. Mercifully, this vanishing occurs fairly early before the first scan for most affected mothers and therefore these will be oblivious of the fact that they started off with twins. The loss of the one twin is usually accompanied by very mild or no noticeable symptoms.     - Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Ultrasound Practitioner   Specialities:   Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.     Reviewed: 07/04/202 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)  and Tareq Ismail  Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)    

  • 0 Private Pregnancy scans and Scanxiety

    0.00 of 0 votes

    Scan Anxiety- Scanxiety and the truth   There have been lots of talks lately on the newspapers and online about scanxiety - someone created a fancy word to describe anxiety before diagnostic scans such as CT and MRI. The term quickly included private ultrasound scans mainly private pregnancy scans in a newspaper attempt to grab the reader’s attention.  The Guardian headline reads:"Scanxiety: why private baby scans are on the riseMany pregnant women are paying for extra ultrasounds, for reassurance or for ‘souvenir scans’. But does multiple scanning pose a risk to the unborn child?" The MailOnline article reads:Pregnant women with 'scanxiety' are told to avoid private ultrasounds as firms offer multiple scans to assuage their fears The study found almost a third of mothers-to-be pay for extra scans while pregnant Many do so due to anxiety, despite NHS offering scans at 12 weeks and 20 weeks Parent site ChannelMum.com says ‘pop-up’ firms target women with 'scanxiety' Another article on MailOnline reads:The rise of 'scanxiety': Pregnant women are risking their babies' health by paying for unnecessary scans UK and US guidelines advise getting two scans: one at 12 weeks, one at 20 weeks A new study shows a third of mothers-to-be pay for extra private ultrasounds Too many high-intensity scans may cause harm to the foetus, experts warn  Anxiety over the baby's health may be doing more harm than good, they say     Going through these articles as a qualified sonographer with more than 15 years experience, i found out that they were full of inaccuracies, misinformation and scaremongering. Ultrasound is used in pregnancy since the late 70s. There were a few research publications suggesting that ultrasound might affect the growth of the unborn baby but with no conclusive evidence and consequent studies failed to duplicate the results. The medical community, therefore, is suggesting that ultrasound should be used where clinically indicated. NICE recommends 2 scans at 12 and 20 weeks as sufficient during the pregnancy. A new study in England, however, shows that almost a third of expectant mothers are paying for additional private scans.  So NICE knows better than the pregnant mothers or is it because NICE has to take into account the lack of NHS sonographers and midwives and try to alleviate the stress on the NHS? If two ultrasound scans are enough in the UK, why they are not enough in the USA, Australia and most other European countries? So would you say to an expectant mother and her partner who had a miscarriage and sometimes, unfortunately, multiple ones, who are in the waiting room shaking waiting to find out if their baby has a heartbeat that is overreacting and suffering from scanxiety? Do you think that the ultrasound scan is clinically indicated? I would say yes as the ultrasound scan will either reassure them, that their baby is alive or at the worst-case scenario will confirm their fear but at least they will know and they will be able to deal with it. In very anxious patients, sometimes a quick scan is the best option for alleviating stress which is helpful in so many other ways. In our London ultrasound clinic, we do not just do pregnancy scans such as the early pregnancy scan but we do a variety of other ultrasonic examinations such as abdominal, pelvic and musculoskeletal examinations. We have clients from all walks of life including health care professionals who are not willing to wait 6+ weeks to have a scan on the NHS as they want to find out if there is something wrong with them and treat it ASAP. We assume that these clients are suffering from scanxiety too but all these articles concentrated on expecting mothers as a soft target. Never the less anxiety associated with the results of a scan either ultrasound, CT or MRI between cancer patients is well documented. Some concerns on these articles arise from the intensity of the ultrasound beam and the length of ultrasound scanning. The intensity of the ultrasound beam is significantly higher on 4D scans than 2D scans as is the scanning time. In our London ultrasound clinic we do not offer 4D ultrasound scans but most of the ultrasound clinics that do offer them, they offer them later in pregnancy at 20+ weeks, when the baby is well developed and the effects of ultrasound intensity are minimal.  The most valid point of these articles is the use of untrained/unqualified sonographers. I am not aware of any ultrasound clinics in the UK that uses unqualified sonographers and as far as I know, most of the ultrasound clinics are registered with CQC. Never the less the DailyMail has compiled a list with tips on finding a reputable scanning clinic:   TIPS ON FINDING A REPUTABLE SCANNING CLINIC  ·  Check that your ultrasound clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission, to ensure it meets professional standards.·  Look online for clinic reviews and check how long the company has been established.·  Ask the clinic about staff qualifications and experience. Any reputable firm will be happy to help. Your sonographer should be HCPC qualified.·  Some clinics do offer discounts to make the treatment affordable for everyone. However if you are being pressured to buy more packages than you need or can afford, consider going elsewhere. It's your body, your baby and your choice.·  If you feel overly anxious, speak with your midwife. Your ultrasound clinic will work with him or her. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.     - Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Ultrasound Practitioner   Specialities:   Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.     Reviewed: 07/04/202 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)  and Tareq Ismail  Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)

  • 0 Our Most Frequent Pregnancy Scans

    0.00 of 0 votes

    The pregnancy scans offered by the NHS might not always be enough to offer the reassurance that the pregnancy is progressing properly. You can find below the most popular private pregnancy scans in our ultrasound clinic in London. These scans offer peace of mind that every couple seeks. Early pregnancy scan. We offer this scan from the 6th to 11th-week gestation. This scan will confirm your pregnancy, calculate your estimated due date, detect whether it is a single or multiple pregnancy scan. Dating scan.  We offer this scan from the 11th to 14th week. This scan will date your pregnancy by measuring the crown to rump length (CRL), confirm if it is single or multiple pregnancies and most importantly will confirming foetal viability by checking the baby’s heartbeat. Gender scan. From 16 weeks onwards we can identify the gender of your baby with very high accuracy. Using our ultrasound scanner, loaded with the latest ultrasound technology the sonographer will be able to tell you if you having a boy or a girl. Growth scan. If you had previous birth complications or have any concerns or worries this scan will check your baby’s growth. We offer the growth scan, between the 24th and 38th week of your pregnancy.       What are the benefits and risks of the pregnancy ultrasound scans? Benefits The pregnancy scan is non-invasive. If a transvaginal scan is required the ultrasound exam might be a little uncomfortable but not painful. Ultrasound examinations are significantly cheaper than other diagnostic imaging modalities. Ultrasound imaging is safe for the baby and the mother as there is no ionizing radiation involved. You can not see the baby using conventional x-ray imaging. Ultrasound is the preferred imaging investigation for the diagnosis and monitoring of pregnancies. Ultrasound allows the sonographer to see inside the uterus in real-time and provides necessary information about the pregnancy. Risks There are no known harmful effects on humans related to pregnancy ultrasound examinations. Although ultrasound has been used in pregnancy for more than 40  years with no evidence suggesting it is harmful to the patient, embryo or fetus, ultrasound should be performed only when clinically indicated and by qualified practitioners.   Who interprets the results of the private scan and how do I get them? Our Sonographer, a Health Care Professional specifically trained to perform and understand the ultrasound scan images, will do your exam and provide you with a written report that you can take it your doctor.  Our sonographers will also discuss the results with you during and after your examination. Our sonographers are advanced practitioners with years of ultrasound scanning experience; fully qualified, registered with the HCPC and work full/part-time for flagship London NHS hospitals. On an average month, they perform more than 500 examinations a month and regularly train junior radiologists in the art of ultrasound scanning. During the working day in the NHS, they deal with all kinds of routine and emergency scans. They rotate through the hospitals' recurrent miscarriage unit where they gain valuable experience in pregnancy and its various complications. It is very common that sometimes when you leave you remember of a question that you forgot to ask, so please don't hesitate to contact us either via phone or e-mail and we will do our best to answer your question.     About  Pregnancy Scans A pregnancy ultrasound scan is the same as a ‘normal’ scans but is being used to evaluate the overall health of your baby instead of looking at other organs such as gallbladder for gallstones or kidney for kidney stones. So in pregnancy ultrasound scans are being used to visualise the baby, the placenta, the uterus and cervix and your ovaries.Pregnancy ultrasound scans or prenatal ultrasounds are very common and being carried in any stage of the pregnancy.   When Is an Ultrasound Performed During Pregnancy? You will normally offer two ultrasound scans during your pregnancy from the NHS. The first pregnancy scan is at 12 weeks and called a dating scan. The second pregnancy scan is at 20 weeks and called an anomaly scan.Most of the expectant mothers, especially the ones with previous complications such as miscarriage they do not believe that 2 ultrasound scans during pregnancy are enough and this is the reason they choose to have a private pregnancy scan in London with us.   What are ultrasound scans used for in pregnancy? Depending on your stage of pregnancy, ultrasounds will be used to give you and your doctor or midwife answers about your pregnancy. First Trimester Ultrasounds Check that you are pregnant and that your baby has a heartbeat. Check if you have a singleton or twins Make sure that the pregnancy is not an ectopic located within the endometrial cavity and is not outside the womb such as in the fallopian tube. Look for the cause of any bleeding you might have. Date the pregnancy by measuring the crown-rump length of the foetal pole. Second Trimester Ultrasounds   Verify dates and growth Estimate the  baby's risk of Down's syndrome by measuring the fluid at the back of your baby’s neck between about 10 weeks and 14 weeks Help with diagnostic tests by showing the position of the baby and placenta. Check your baby to see if all his organs are normal. Diagnose abnormalities Assess the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of the placenta. Evaluation of fetal well-being Third-trimester Ultrasounds Make sure your baby is growing at the expected rate. Confirm if your baby is a boy or a girl. Some mothers to be will, unfortunately, get various complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, kidney infections and abnormal liver function tests. As ultrasound scans are pregnancy-friendly your doctor wight refer you for an abdominal/liver scan or a kidney scan to check for anything that might explain your symptoms.Although these ultrasound scans are not pregnancy scans, they are related to pregnancy and in most cases, all the complications resolve after delivery. But like everything else related to your health and your baby’s health: better safe than sorry. What can be seen during the early scan: At 5 weeks gestation (i.e 3 weeks after conception) a small gestation sac might be visible. At 6 weeks, the yolk sac, the embryo (foetal pole) and the heartbeat might be visible. At 7 weeks the embryo will be around 10mm with a fast heartbeat. At 8 weeks, the embryo will be around 16mm and the body and the head might be distinguishable. The embryonic movement might also be seen. At 9 weeks, the embryo is now a foetus and head, body and limbs start to form.   Why choose us for your private pregnancy ultrasound scan in London? We are conveniently located in the heart of London, just a few minutes’ walks from Notting Hill Gate station, in a cobbled cul-de-sac off Kensington Mall in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. We offer same day and emergency after hours and weekend appointments in a clean and caring environment, to suit your needs. We have years of experience in medical ultrasound. Experience gained working for flagship NHS trusts alongside leaders in the field of diagnostic medical imaging including general ultrasound, urology, musculoskeletal, gynaecology, pelvis, testicular and vascular examinations. You can, therefore, be assured that your health is in good hands. Our range of ultrasound examinations includes, other than pregnancy, the abdomen, pelvis, kidneys, bladder, prostate, ovary, testicle, scrotal, knee, shoulder, groin, ankle, wrist to name a few. We regularly rotate through our hospital EPU that mainly deals with recurrent miscarriage. Our full range of scans can be viewed via the site menu. Our competitively-priced pregnancy scan examinations and personalised service is second to none and this is the reason our clients recommend us to friends and family.    About Ultrasound Scans Diagnostic Medical ultrasound scan or medical sonography as otherwise known is a painless imaging technique utilising sound waves to produce internal images of the body.It is called ultrasound as the sound frequency being used is at the region of 1 to 20MHz. The human ear cant can’t hear these frequencies.The sound waves are produced by the transducer or the probe as most commonly known. As they travel through the body they bounce back to the transducer due to various sound transmissions differences in tissues. The returning echoes are picked up by the probe and a powerful computer analyses the echoes and creates the 2d image on the screen.There are various kinds of ultrasound scans that can be performed and each looks at different organs of the body such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, uterus and ovaries to confirm or exclude possible pathology.Unlike Ct and MRI, ultrasound does not use radiation and therefore is pregnancy-friendly. It is also live and is ideal for musculoskeletal exams to evaluate moving joints.   Looking for a private pregnancy ultrasound scan in London? IUS London specialises in diagnostic private ultrasound scans to provide you with quick diagnosis and the much-needed reassurance about your health, within a convenient location. The cost of a private ultrasound scan shouldn’t be prohibited when it comes to someone’s wellbeing. This is why our prices are competitive and affordable with no compromise to the level of care. The price you see is the price you pay with no hidden extras. We have hundreds of happy clients including GP’s, consultants, radiologists and midwives to name a few. Some of our clients choose us when large, well-established ultrasound scanning companies failed them in diagnostic accuracy and especially aftercare. We offer ultrasound scan appointments via our online booking system or on the phone. We do not charge a deposit or a cancellation fee as we care more about our clients and we respect their decision to decide what is best for them without concern about the ultrasound scan deposit they already paid.      - Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Ultrasound Practitioner Specialities: Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.   Reviewed: 07/04/202 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) and Tareq Ismail Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)

  • 0 Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

    0.00 of 0 votes

    Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan An ultrasound scan is frequently offered to women that are pregnant at about 12-14 weeks. In certain conditions, for example, if there aren't any particular risks or issues, you may be able in have earlier or later scans if needed.   How they work An Ultrasound works by transmits silent sound waves through the body tissues to create an image of your baby in your womb, which you and your partner will be able to see on a TV/computer screen. Before having your transabdominal scan, you'll be asked to drink lots of fluid rather than to empty your urinary bladder! If your urinary bladder is complete, it then pushes up from your uterus to provide a better perspective of your infant. This is really important in the very first 50% of pregnancy. When you are lying down,  a gel is going to be put on your lower abdomen and a handheld probe/scanner/transducer will be moved in various directions on the skin to allow you to visualise your infant in your womb. Ultrasound scans may also be carried out utilizing a vaginal probe. If this is true, you'll not typically need to have a full urinary bladder since these sorts of ultrasound scans provide a clearer image, particularly in an early pregnancy ultrasound.  While the scan is been carried out, the sonographer will usually explain what she/he is looking at, and you may be given a black and white print of the image to take home with you, as well as a written ultrasound report. Some units even give you the option to get your bay scan recorded on a videotape, which you can buy.   Do ultrasound scans hurt? Ultrasound scans are completely painless, and also to date, there is no medical evidence to prove that they can harm either a pregnant woman or her unborn baby.   What the scan can tell you about your pregnancy? Seeing your baby moving around throughout the scan can be extremely enjoyable and reassuring to see your baby is developing normally and also to monitor its growth along with well being. The scan will show the exact position of your baby and the placenta. Will evaluate for any causes of bleeding in early pregnancy, along with excluding an ectopic pregnancy. Identify fetal abnormalities, especially of the head or spine, such as the structural/developmental defects spina bifida and hydrocephalus, or to specify this risk of this chromosomal disorder Down's syndrome. Show your baby moving and allow you to hear his/her heartbeat and see fetal movements. The scan will also evaluate the amniotic fluid volume and blood flow to the womb along the umbilical cord. Where possible will allow you to find out the sex of your baby at the 20-week scan.     - Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Ultrasound Practitioner Specialities: Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.   Reviewed: 07/04/202 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) and Tareq Ismail Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)

  • 0 6 Week Pregnancy Scan

    0.00 of 0 votes

     6-week Pregnancy Scan Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the world of pregnancy ultrasounds. The 6 weeks early pregnancy or the early pregnancy scan as more commonly known will possibly be the first time the parents will meet their baby.   Reasons for the 6 Week Ultrasound scan 6-week ultrasound scans are not routinely offered by the NHS. You might want to have a private 6 weeks ultrasound scan if you suspect that your pregnancy is not progressing well or if you would like a definite pregnancy dating confirmation. Most common reasons for a 6 Week Ultrasound Scan Previous miscarriage. You had fertility treatment. Pelvic pain on one side Vaginal spotting or bleeding. you are unsure how far along you are in your pregnancy.   What should you see on a 6-week scan? At 6 weeks, the yolk sac, the embryo (foetal pole) and the heartbeat might be visible. At 6 weeks, you won't, in general, be able to see much detail of your baby. The ultrasound scan, however, should be able to confirm the gestation age by measuring either the gestation sac or the foetal pole if visible. Sometimes but not always you will be able to see the baby's heartbeat. Most importantly the sonographer will be able to check that your baby is within the endometrial cavity and that you do not have an ectopic pregnancy.  Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the uterus with the most common location being the fallopian tube on the side where you ovulated from. Everyone obviously is different and sometimes a follow-up ultrasound in a week to 10 days later might be necessary to give you more information.   Your baby at 6 weeks How many mm is a 6-week old foetus? At 6 weeks, your baby should measure approximately 5-9mms in length. Can you see the baby at 6 weeks? 6 weeks into your pregnancy is also the earliest time you might be able to see the foetal pole and the foetal heartbeat. Can you see the baby heartbeat at 6-week scan? The foetal heartbeat is seen like two parallel lines flickering. Most literature is saying that the foetal heartbeat should be around 90-110 beats per minute but we have seen slower heartbeats with positive pregnancy outcomes.  The yolk sac, a ring shape bright circle might also be visible. The yolk sac is where your baby is feeding on at this early stage in pregnancy. Sometimes only the gestation sac is visible with no foetal pole or yolk sac and you might be asked to come back in a week to 10 days as you might be earlier in your pregnancy than you think.   What is the earliest You can have a pregnancy scan? The 6-week scan is the most common gestation age that an ultrasound is performed. We do not recommend a scan before the 6 weeks gestation unless you are worried about a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, as at 5 weeks gestation you will possibly see the endometrium being thickened and echo bright and possibly a gestation sac. You may want also want to read more about the 7-week scan and the 8+ week scan.   What happens at a 6-week scan? It is more likely that at 6 weeks gestation age you will need to have a transvaginal or internal ultrasound scan instead of a transabdominal scan (through the abdomen). This is because it is early stage and everything is still small. The transvaginal scan will be able to get closer to the endometrium and produce a better clearer image of the pregnancy insitu. A 6-week ultrasound can also help to find the cause for any early pregnancy pain or bleeding. Feeling nervous about having an ultrasound scan so early in your pregnancy is normal. Try to stay calm and prepare yourself for what may happen. Bringing with you your partner or a close family member for extra support might be a good idea.    How many scans will I have during pregnancy through the NHS? You will have at least two ultrasound scans during your pregnancy provided by the NHS: a 12-week dating scan and a 20-week anomaly scan. The 12-week scan will provide confirmation and dating for your pregnancy. The 20-week scan will provide information about your baby's growth and development.   About  Pregnancy Scans A pregnancy ultrasound scan is the same as a ‘normal’ scan but it is being used to evaluate the overall health of your baby instead of looking at other organs such as gallbladder for gallstones or kidney for kidney stones. So in pregnancy ultrasound scans are being used to visualise the baby, the placenta, the uterus and cervix and your ovaries.Pregnancy ultrasound scans or prenatal ultrasounds are very common and being carried in any stage of the pregnancy.      If you have any questions or you want to know more about our private ultrasound please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer. At our private ultrasound clinic, we offer pregnancy scans from as early as 5-6 weeks in times to suit you.       Who interprets the results of the early pregnancy scan and how do I get them? A Sonographer, a Health Care Professional specifically trained to perform and understand the ultrasound images, will most likely do your exam and provide you with a written report that you can take it your doctor.      About Ultrasound Diagnostic Medical ultrasound scan or medical sonography as otherwise known is a painless imaging technique utilising sound waves to produce internal images of the body.It is called ultrasound as the sound frequency being used is at the region of 1 to 20MHz. The human ear cant can’t hear these frequencies.The sound waves are produced by the transducer or the probe as most commonly known. As they travel through the body they bounce back to the transducer due to various sound transmissions differences in tissues. The returning echoes are picked up by the probe and a powerful computer analyses the echoes and creates the 2d image on the screen.There are various kinds of ultrasound scans that can be performed and each looks at different organs of the body such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, uterus and ovaries to confirm or exclude possible pathology.Unlike Ct and MRI, ultrasound does not use radiation and therefore is pregnancy-friendly. It is also live and is ideal for musculoskeletal exams to evaluate moving joints.     Other ultrasound scans related to pregnancy? Some mothers to be will, unfortunately, get various complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, kidney infections and abnormal liver function tests. As ultrasound scans are pregnancy-friendly your doctor might refer you for an abdominal/liver scan or a kidney scan to check for anything that might explain your symptoms. Although these ultrasound scans are not pregnancy scans, they are related to pregnancy and in most cases, all the complications resolve after delivery. But like everything else related to your health and your baby’s health: better safe than sorry.   What are ultrasound scans used for in pregnancy? Depending on your stage of pregnancy, ultrasounds will be used to give you and your doctor or midwife answers about your pregnancy. First Trimester Ultrasounds Check that you are pregnant and that your baby has a heartbeat. Check if you have a singleton or twins Make sure that the pregnancy is not an ectopic located within the endometrial cavity and is not outside the womb such as in the fallopian tube. Look for the cause of any bleeding you might have. Date the pregnancy by measuring the crown-rump length of the foetal pole. Second Trimester Ultrasounds Verify dates and growth Estimate the  baby's risk of Down's syndrome by measuring fluid at the back of your baby’s neck between about 10 weeks and 14 weeks Help with diagnostic tests by showing the position of the baby and placenta. Check your baby to see if all his organs are normal. Diagnose abnormalities Assess the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of the placenta. Evaluation of fetal well-being Third-trimester Ultrasounds Make sure your baby is growing at the expected rate. Confirm if your baby is a boy or a girl.   - Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Ultrasound Practitioner Specialities: Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.   Reviewed: 07/04/202 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) and Tareq Ismail Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)

  • 0 8- 12 Week Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

    0.00 of 0 votes

    Your eight-week private ultrasound scan can be an exciting and apprehensive moment. If this is your first pregnancy ultrasound you will be understandably anxious as getting a glimpse of your baby for the first time is a big deal.   Why have an 8-week baby ultrasound scan? From anywhere between 8 and 12 weeks pregnant, your healthcare professional might suggest that you schedule your first ultrasound appointment. This is also called your “dating” scan. The main reason for this scan is to confirm the gestational age of your baby. This date is based on your baby’s size and will be a very close estimation. Some eight-week ultrasounds might be performed for other reasons, including: If you are experiencing bleeding If multiple pregnancies are suspected To check the size of your embryo To confirm that your baby has a heartbeat To check the health of your ovaries and fallopian tubes To rule out an ectopic pregnancy or other problems If you have just discovered you are pregnant but you aren’t sure when you became pregnant your chosen healthcare professional might also recommend an early pregnancy ultrasound scan. Eight weeks pregnant is an early stage to perform an ultrasound and you wouldn’t ordinarily need one so early. What to expect during your 8-week ultrasound Depending on your healthcare professional and your personal preferences, your eight-week ultrasound can be performed using a wand across your abdomen or another type of wand inside your vagina. A vaginal ultrasound is helpful if your bladder isn’t full enough or your uterus is still too small to see. At this point in your pregnancy, an ultrasound can confirm that your baby is healthy and progressing as it should be. If you are having twins (or more), you might be able to see multiple yolk sacs and multiple heartbeats. However, as it is still early days one baby may be missed at this stage. Don’t be afraid to ask your sonographer questions. If this is your first ultrasound it’s very normal that you would be curious about what you see on screen. Your baby at 8 weeks At eight weeks pregnant, your baby will measure about 1.6 centimetres and it will be losing its little tadpole tail. Keep in mind that your baby’s big forehead and tiny body will still make him or her look rather disproportionate at this stage. Your little one will also start to make involuntary movements, similar to a slight flicker or a jump. These movements are extremely tiny so you won’t be able to feel them. Inside and out, a number of your baby’s body parts will start to become more defined as well, including their: Nose Lips Eyelids Arms Legs Bones The valves and air passages in their heart   Every pregnant woman is offered ultrasound scans during pregnancy. However, the number and timeline will be different for each woman. Your ultrasound schedule will depend on a few key factors, including: The progression and health of your pregnancy Your personal preferences Your chosen healthcare professional Whether you will be giving birth in a public or private hospital Your medical history Your health insurance policy If you didn’t have an ultrasound last week, your nine-week ultrasound will likely be scheduled to assess the gestational age of your baby. If you’re not sure when your last menstrual period (LMP) was, a scan at nine weeks will be able to confirm your approximate date of conception. Your first ultrasound can be a very emotional experience so it’s a good idea to take along your partner or close family member for support.   The purpose of a 9-week ultrasound Depending on your unique pregnancy, your chosen healthcare professional may schedule an ultrasound scan at nine weeks for a few different reasons. If this is your first ultrasound, it will give you the opportunity to accurately determine your due date. Especially if you haven’t tracked when your LMP was. Knowing how far along you are in your pregnancy is important. At some point between 11 and 13 weeks, your healthcare professional will suggest conducting a Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan. This scan tests for Down syndrome and for accurate results, you need to know how far along you are. If you have miscarried a previous pregnancy or you have experienced some level of vaginal bleeding over the last nine weeks, you may also be offered an ultrasound. This scan can confirm whether your pregnancy is progressing healthily.   What to expect during your 9-week ultrasound This ultrasound may be conducted vaginally or externally on your abdomen. Know that if your healthcare professional has officially referred you for an early scan Medicare will cover it. At nine weeks, you will be able to see your baby’s head, body and limbs. You will also be able to hear your little one’s heartbeat for the first time with a Doppler monitor. Bring some tissues with you; this can be a very emotional moment. It’s also important to understand that miscarrying during the first three months of pregnancy is quite common. If your ultrasound shows that your baby is growing slowly, or has a lower than average heartbeat your chances of miscarrying are high. If you have been experiencing pain or vaginal bleeding, you might be somewhat prepared for this news. However, no matter how prepared you think you may be, hearing your miscarriage suspicions confirmed is likely to be a distressing experience.   Your baby at 9 weeks  At nine weeks, your baby will measure approximately 2.5 centimetres. The foetus will resemble a green olive and weigh less than 2 grams. Your little one’s eyes will have grown larger and even have some colour, but their eyelids will still be fused shut. Your ultrasound may be able to show you the beginnings of what will be your little one’s fingers and toes too.   If you have not yet had any type of pregnancy ultrasound and you are around 12 weeks pregnant, your maternity care provider may suggest you have one. There are many reasons for having an ultrasound at this stage, but one of the most common is to screen for one of the congenital chromosomal abnormalities – Trisomy 21, otherwise known as Down Syndrome. This means that there is an extra chromosome – 21 contained in every cell of the body. People with Down Syndrome have physical and intellectual disabilities. Older women are more at risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. When a woman is 12 weeks pregnant her risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome can be fairly accurately assessed. When a foetus has Down syndrome they tend to have more fluid at the base of their neck, in the region known as the nuchal fold area. This fluid can be measured in a test called nuchal translucency. A foetus with Down Syndrome has a measurement which is thicker than in those who do not. It is worth remembering though, that a larger than average nuchal fold measurement is not a guarantee that the baby will have chromosomal problems. Other tests for Down Syndrome need to be done if in doubt. In addition, blood tests such as a Chorion Villus Sampling test or an amniocentesis help to clarify any suspicions. I can see my baby! The 12 week ultrasound may be the first time parents have seen their little baby. So this is exciting if a little nerve-wracking time. It’s completely normal for parents to consider the possibility that their baby may not be developing as it needs to and perhaps build apprehension before the procedure. After all, this is one of the reasons why a 12-week ultrasound is recommended. One of the benefits of having an ultrasound so early in pregnancy is that if complications are found, then parents may be given a choice of continuing with the pregnancy or not. Medical recommendations on this issue are very important. Ethical, religious and personal belief systems also need to be carefully balanced and weighed up. Parents need to feel as if they are fully informed and comfortable with the explanations provided by the sonographer doing the 12-week ultrasound. Follow up care by the healthcare team are equally as important.   What is a first-trimester screening test? Maternity care providers will often suggest a pregnant mother has a blood test taken when she is 10 weeks pregnant. This is specifically to conduct a measurement of pregnancy hormones. If chromosomal abnormalities are present, these results can be out of the normal range. These blood tests, in combination with the 12-week ultrasound, provide what is known as “A First Trimester Screening Test”. A mother’s age, including the results from the blood test, and the findings of the ultrasound all provide an individualised picture of her risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. This screening test is not a definite diagnosis of chromosomal problems, but rather provides a risk assessment. If there are concerns, then further testing can be done.   How will they do the 12-week ultrasound? The 12-week ultrasound is generally done via the mother’s abdomen. It’s not always necessary to have a full bladder, however, the individual sonographer may recommend that you have a partially full bladder. This will help to lift your uterus up out of your pelvis so it is easier to see the foetus. Sometimes it is necessary to do a vaginal ultrasound. This will lead to even clearer images.   Reasons to have a 12-week ultrasound To check that the foetus is developing as it should be. The measurements of the foetus’s skull – the Biparietal distance is calculated and compared against standard lengths for foetuses at similar gestational ages. To see if the foetus has a heartbeat. This should be clearly detectable at the 12-week ultrasound. To confirm pregnancy dates and estimate the date of delivery. To check for multiple foetuses and confirm if one or more is present. To check the size of the foetus and developing placenta. To measure the amount of fluid at the base of the foetus’s neck and make an individualised risk assessment of them having Down Syndrome. The sound waves from the ultrasound return echo-free measurements. This is because of space which is translucent due to its fluid content. To check for other physical abnormalities in the foetus. To check the uterus, fallopian tubes and pelvic region for other complications.   What else is measured during a 12-week ultrasound? The foetus’s length, specifically from its head to its bottom. This is known as a Crown Rump length. A general check of the mother and foetus’s internal organs and structures. Many parents are amazed by the amount of detail they can see at the 12-week ultrasound. They are also surprised by their foetus’s movements and agility. Of course, at 12 weeks gestation, it is too early for a pregnant mother to be aware of her baby moving. And it can be a strange sensation when looking at the monitor and seeing movement but not being able to physically detect it. Many parents feel an instant emotional connection with their baby when they see it for the first time. It’s not uncommon for fathers to say that the whole pregnancy idea was a little foreign and somehow not real. But being able to see their baby rather than talking about it and having to use their imagination, makes all the difference.   When will I know if everything’s alright with my 12-week ultrasound? You should be told straightaway if everything is going well. If you have had your biochemistry blood tests taken before the ultrasound and these results are back, then you should be able to have these results as well straight after your ultrasound is finished. Many maternity healthcare providers recommend mothers have the blood test at 10 weeks gestation. The sonographer will be able to talk their way through the procedure and turn the screen so that you can see what they are looking at during the ultrasound. There may also be a separate monitor for you and your partner to look at. If you want an explanation, then just ask the sonographer to tell you what they are checking. If they are unsure or want clarification they will often request a colleague come into the room and have a look at the ultrasound. Obviously, this can be a pretty unnerving process especially if you’ve not had any reason to believe that there are any complications.   How accurate is the first-trimester screening test? At the current time, the combined First Trimester Screening is thought to be the most accurate test for Down Syndrome. For those women whose results return a high risk of carrying an embryo with Down Syndrome, the next stage is generally Chorionic Villus Sampling or an Amniocentesis. Having a low-risk result for the First Trimester Screening Test does not give a 100% guarantee that there will not be a chromosomal abnormality. What it does is categorise a pregnancy into an increased or decreased risk.   How long will my 12-week ultrasound take? Generally, bookings of 30 minutes are made. This allows the sonographer enough time to do a thorough and comprehensive check and assessment. Try not to squeeze your appointment time between a lot of other tasks you need to achieve in the same day. Put aside some time before and after your ultrasound so you can make it to the appointment in plenty of time, and have the chance to reflect on it afterwards. Ask your partner to be with you on the day, and aim to enjoy this as an event you can both share. Some couples choose to bring their parents along as well and view this as an opportunity to meet their grandchild for the first time. How you manage this is your choice, just be mindful that ultrasound rooms can be quite small, so accommodating more than a couple of people can present a practical challenge.   Are 12-week ultrasounds part of my routine pregnancy care? Ultrasounds during pregnancy are routinely offered because they provide such an excellent means of diagnosing problems if they are present. They are also low risk, non –invasive and relatively low cost considering the amount of information they give. But you are entirely free to make your own choices regarding whether you want to have pregnancy ultrasounds or not. Some parents feel very strongly that having an ultrasound is not right for them. Part of their reasoning is that if abnormalities are found, then they may be put into a position of having to make decisions based around these findings. Some parents choose to wait until the screening ultrasound at 18-20 weeks and feel that at 12 weeks it is still too early to be able to see much of their baby’s development. If you are in any doubt, then speak with your maternity care provider about your own individual needs.  

  • 0 7 Week Baby Ultrasound Scan

    0.00 of 0 votes

    It is quite common for our London pregnant couples to have their first pregnancy scan at around 7 weeks of pregnancy. The most common reasons for this private ultrasound scan is to confirm the pregnancy, to check viability and that everything is ok in general.     Other reasons to have a 7-week baby ultrasound are to: Confirm whether it is a singleton or multiple pregnancies. Confirm gestational age Spotting or bleeding Confirm the presence of a heartbeat. Measure the foetal pole and ensure the size of the baby is the right size for gestational age. Make sure the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries are ok. Confirm the foetal pole is within the endometrial cavity and it is not an ectopic pregnancy When a mother has irregular periods and is therefore unsure about her gestational age.   When is a dating scan necessary? This is a scan or ultrasound which determines your expected date of delivery (EDD) based on the development of the embryo. A dating scan is generally done for women who: Are unsure about their last menstrual period. Have irregular cycles Recently had a miscarriage and have soon conceived again. Stopped using hormonal contraception. Have conceived while they are breastfeeding. In any other situation such as multiple partners, where confirming gestational age is considered important.   How big will my baby be at the 7-week ultrasound?   The average crown to rump length (CRL) of the embryo at 7 weeks gestation is between 5mm-12mm. Crown/rump length and gestational age are closely compared with each other during pregnancy ultrasound until around the end of the first trimester.     When should I have my earliest scan? The ideal time to assess the gestation age with ultrasound is between 7-10 weeks of pregnancy. The crown-rump length measurements obtained at this gestational age can vary between 3-5 days.    How will my 7-week ultrasound be done? This early baby scan is normally performed trans-abdominally. In some instances, however, an internal scan (Transvaginal) may be required to see all the necessary detail or if your womb tilts backwards.   We will always try to scan trans-abdominally first but if we need to do a transvaginal ultrasound scan then we will discuss this with you. To perform this early baby scan, you will be asked to lie down on the examination couch and expose your lower abdomen. A small amount of water-based gel will be applied to your skin. The gel will help the transducer to make good contact with the skin. The ultrasound transducer will be placed on the body and will be moved in different directions over the area of interest to obtain the required information/ultrasound images. There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer or probe as otherwise known,  is pressed against the area being examined. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor discomfort from the transducer. Once the ultrasound scan is completed, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry quickly. The ultrasound gel does not usually stain or discolour clothing. This ultrasound examination is usually completed within 10-15 minutes. After an ultrasound examination, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.   Can I see my baby’s heartbeat at the seven-week ultrasound? Heartbeat should be visible at 6+ weeks gestation and you should be able to see a tubular flickering structure. The baby's heart rate at this early stage of pregnancy is fast and it is between 90-110 beats per minute.   Will my seven-week ultrasound be really clear? The image quality of your pregnancy ultrasound scan will depend in the quality of the ultrasound equipment and also the experience and skills of the sonographer. At International Ultrasound Services we have years of ultrasound scanning experience and therefore you can rest assured that we will achieve the best image quality possible without compromising the safety of the baby or mother.  If you have any questions please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer. At our private ultrasound clinic, we offer pregnancy scans from as early as 5-6 weeks in times to suit you.   Who interprets the results of the early pregnancy scan and how do I get them? Our Sonographer, a Health Care Professional specifically trained to perform and understand the ultrasound images, will do your exam and provide you with a written report that you can take it to your doctor.  Our sonographers will also discuss the results with you during and after your examination. It is very common that sometimes when you leave you remember of a question that you forgot to ask, so please don't hesitate to contact us either via phone or e-mail and we will do our best to answer your question.   What are the benefits and risks of the early pregnancy ultrasound examination? Benefits The early pregnancy, reassurance scan is non-invasive. If a transvaginal scan is required the ultrasound exam might be a little uncomfortable but not painful. Ultrasound examinations are significantly cheaper than other diagnostic imaging modalities. Ultrasound imaging is safe for the baby and the mother as there is no ionizing radiation involved. You can not see the baby using conventional x-ray imaging. Ultrasound is the preferred imaging investigation for the diagnosis and monitoring of pregnancies. Ultrasound allows the sonographer to see inside the uterus in real-time and provides necessary information about the pregnancy. Risks There are no harmful effects on humans or babies related to pregnancy ultrasound examinations. Although ultrasound has been used in pregnancy for more than 40  years with no evidence suggesting it is harmful to the patient, embryo or fetus, ultrasound should be performed only when clinically indicated and by qualified practitioners.       About  Pregnancy Scans A pregnancy ultrasound scan is the same as a ‘normal’ scans but is being used to evaluate the overall health of your baby instead of looking at other organs such as gallbladder for gallstones or kidney for kidney stones. So in pregnancy ultrasound scans are being used to visualise the baby, the placenta, the uterus and cervix and your ovaries.Pregnancy ultrasound scans or prenatal ultrasounds are very common and being carried in any stage of the pregnancy.   When Is an Ultrasound Performed During Pregnancy in the NHS? You will normally be offered two ultrasound scans during your pregnancy from the NHS. The first pregnancy scan is at 12 weeks and called a dating scan. The second pregnancy scan is at 20 weeks and called an anomaly scan.Most of the expectant mothers, especially the ones with previous complications such as miscarriage they do not believe that 2 ultrasound scans during pregnancy are enough and this is the reason they choose to have a private pregnancy scan in London with us.   What are ultrasound scans used for in pregnancy? Depending on your stage of pregnancy, ultrasounds will be used to give you and your doctor or midwife answers about your pregnancy. First Trimester Ultrasounds Check that you are pregnant and that your baby has a heartbeat. Check if you have a singleton or twins Make sure that the pregnancy is not an ectopic located within the endometrial cavity and is not outside the womb such as in the fallopian tube. Look for the cause of any bleeding you might have. Date the pregnancy by measuring the crown-rump length of the foetal pole. Second Trimester Ultrasounds Verify dates and growth Estimate the  baby's risk of Down's syndrome by measuring the fluid at the back of your baby’s neck between about 10 weeks and 14 weeks Help with diagnostic tests by showing the position of the baby and placenta. Check your baby to see if all his organs are normal. Diagnose abnormalities Assess the amount of amniotic fluid and the location of the placenta. Evaluation of fetal well-being Third-trimester Ultrasounds Make sure your baby is growing at the expected rate. Confirm if your baby is a boy or a girl. Some mothers to be will, unfortunately, get various complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure, kidney infections and abnormal liver function tests. As ultrasound scans are pregnancy-friendly your doctor wight refer you for an abdominal/liver scan or a kidney scan to check for anything that might explain your symptoms.Although these ultrasound scans are not pregnancy scans, they are related to pregnancy and in most cases, all the complications resolve after delivery. But like everything else related to your health and your baby’s health: better safe than sorry. What can be seen during the early pregnancy scan: At 5 weeks gestation (i.e 3 weeks after conception) a small gestation sac might be visible. At 6 weeks, the yolk sac, the embryo (foetal pole) and the heartbeat might be visible. At 7 weeks the embryo will be around 10mm with a fast heartbeat. At 8 weeks, the embryo will be around 16mm and the body and the head might be distinguishable. The embryonic movement might also be seen. At 9 weeks, the embryo is now a foetus and head, body and limbs start to form.     Why choose us for your early pregnancy ultrasound scan in London? We are conveniently located in the heart of London, just a few minutes’ walk from Notting Hill Gate station, in a cobbled cul-de-sac off Kensington Mall in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. We offer same day and emergency after hours and weekend appointments in a clean and caring environment, to suit your needs. We have years of experience in medical ultrasound scanning. Experience gained working for flagship NHS trusts alongside leaders in the field of diagnostic medical imaging including general ultrasound, pregnancy, urology, musculoskeletal, gynaecology, pelvis, testicular and vascular examinations. You can, therefore, be assured that your health is in good hands. Our range of ultrasound examinations includes the abdomen, pelvis, kidneys, bladder, prostate, ovary, testicle, scrotal, knee, shoulder, groin, ankle, wrist to name a few. We are also experts in pregnancy ultrasound and we regularly rotate through our hospital EPU that mainly deals with recurrent miscarriage. Our full range of scans can be viewed via the site menu. Our competitively-priced private ultrasound scan services and personalised service is second to none and this is the reason our clients recommend us to friends and family.    About Ultrasound Diagnostic Medical ultrasound scan or medical sonography as otherwise known is a painless imaging technique utilising sound waves to produce internal images of the body.It is called ultrasound as the sound frequency being used is at the region of 1 to 20MHz. The human ear cant can’t hear these frequencies.The sound waves are produced by the transducer or the probe as most commonly known. As they travel through the body they bounce back to the transducer due to various sound transmissions differences in tissues. The returning echoes are picked up by the probe and a powerful computer analyses the echoes and creates the 2d image on the screen.There are various kinds of ultrasound scans that can be performed and each looks at different organs of the body such as tendons, muscles, joints, blood vessels, liver, kidneys, uterus and ovaries to confirm or exclude possible pathology.Unlike Ct and MRI, ultrasound does not use radiation and therefore is pregnancy-friendly. It is also live and is ideal for musculoskeletal exams to evaluate moving joints.   Author- Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons) - Medical Ultrasound Practitioner  Specialities:   Abdomen, Small Parts, Gynaecology/Obstetrics and Vascular...Yianni Kiromitis is a London based NHS and Private Medical Sonographer, with more than 20 years’ experience in Healthcare.     Reviewed: 10/04/2020 by Yianni Kiromitis PgC Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)  and Tareq Ismail  Pg (Dip) Medical Ultrasound, BSc(Hons)

 

 

 

LiveZilla Live Chat Software