London Ultrasound Clinic News

 


 

  • 0 Abdominal Ultrasound Scan. Gallstones: Risk Factors and Causes

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    Cholelithiasis is  the medical term for Gallstone disease. Cholelithiasis is one of the most common and costly of all digestive diseases. This post outlines some of the associated risk factors and the more common causes of gallstone formation with some additional details about their classification. NHS UK (2016) states that gallstones are thought to be caused by an imbalance in the chemical make up of the bile within the gallbladder. These chemical imbalances cause tiny crystals to form within the bile that can gradually increase in size from tiny grains of sand to the size of a pebble over a period of time.   Risk Factors The risk factors identified by Wang and Afdhal (2016) for gallstones in the gallbladder (cholelithiasis) include:- diet, age, gender, oestrogen therapy, obesity, fasting, diabetes, family history, rapid weight loss, some medications including those that reduce cholesterol or Lipids or an antibiotic called Cerfriaxone, disease of the ilium or it’s resection and spinal cord injuries. Stockley (2001) states that gallstones are not exclusive to fair, fat, flatulent, fertile over 40 years old females as was previously thought but are also found in young and old alike and have even been detected on fetal ultrasound scanning in the womb. According to Nathanson (2014) it has been estimated from autopsy studies that 12% of men and 24% of women of all ages have gallstone disease present and that 10-30% of them become symptomatic. There are over 40,000 operations to remove the gallbladder and its gallstones (cholecystectomy) performed annually in the UK. Stockley (2001) states that gallstones are formed in several ways: Cholesterol stones which are hard are formed due to an increase in the concentration of cholesterol in the blood (hypercholesterolaemia). An increase in bilirubin in the blood (hyperbilirubinaemia) found in patients with haemolytic anaemia which form irregularly shaped soft, small brown pigment gallstones. Biliary stasis caused by a faulty, malformed, non-emptying gallbladder or obstructed cystic duct leading to stagnant bile. This creates high concentrations of cholesterol and bile pigments following excessive water absorption. This leads to the formation of mixed cholesterol and bile pigment stones, the most common type of gallstone.   There are differing methods used for gallstone classification, namely their chemical composition location Wang and Afdhal (2016) classify gallstones into 3 types based on their chemical composition and macroscopic appearance: cholesterol, pigment and rare stones. 75% of gallstones in the Western world are cholesterol stones consisting mainly of cholesterol monohydrate crystals and precipitates of amorphous calcium bilirubinate. These stones are further sub-classified as either pure cholesterol or mixed stones that contain at least 50% of cholesterol by weight. The remainder of gallstones are classified as pigmented stones that contain mostly calcium hydrogen bilirubinate and they can be further sub-classified into two groups: black pigment (20%) and brown pigment stones (4.5%). Rare gallstones account for 0.5% and include calcium carbonate stones and fatty acid-calcium stones.   Wang and Afdhal (2016) classify gallstones by their location as Intrahepatic stones which are predominantly brown pigment stones Gallbladder stones which are mainly cholesterol stones with a small group of black pigment stones. Bile duct stones (choledocholithiasis) which are composed mostly of mixed cholesterol stones. Gallstone Diagnosis The abdominal ultrasound scan is the first line of investigation in the diagnosis of gallstones. This ultrasound scan is performed on a fasted patient.  The reason for fasting is that the gallbladder is like a balloon. When we eat something fatty, the gallbladder will excrete the bile into the gut to break down the fat and therefore the gallbladder collapses and it is not possible therefore to see if there are any stones within the lumen. In IUS we offer private ultrasound scans in London our to evaluate your gallbladder for any signs of gallstones, thickening of the gallbladder wall and the existence of any pericholecystic fluid. We will also check your liver, your pancreas, your kidneys and the spleen. You can book an abdominal ultrasound scan in London by visiting our ultrasound scan appointments booking page. You can find more information about the upper abdominal scan here.     References: NHS Choices (2016) Gallstones causes. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/gallstones/Pages/causes.aspx [Accessed 17/10/2016] Wang, D., Afdhal, N. (2016). Gallstone Disease In: Feldman, M., Friedman, L., Brandt,L.(eds) Sleisanger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease Pathophysiology / Diagnosis / Management. Volume 1. 10th Edition. Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier. pp -1100 - 1108 Stockley, M (2001) Abdominal Ultrasound. 1st edition. Greenwich Medical Media Nathanson, L. (2014) Gallstones, In: Garden, O., Parks, R. (eds.) Hepatobilary and Pancreatic Surgery. A Companion to Specialist Surgical Practice. 5th edition. Edinburgh. Saunders Elsevier. p 174. Bibiliograph: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/gallstones#1What Are Gallstones? [Accessed 17/10/2016] http://www.livescience.com/34726-gallstones-symptoms-treatment.html. [Accessed 18/10/2016] Mayo Clinic (2013) Gallstones causes. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gallstones/basics/causes/con-20020461. [Accessed 18/10/2016]      

  • 0 Private scans

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    Welcome to our new private scan blog. Our private scan clinic in Notting Hill Gate offers a wide range of private scans for men and women as well as pregnancy private scans. We are conveniently located a few minutes walk from Notting Hill Gate tube station and we offer a range of out of hour private scan appointments, including emergency/on-call private scans to suit your lifestyle. You can find the whole range of our private scans and costs here.         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 private scan 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 ultrasound scan examination. It is very common that sometimes when you leave you to 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 ultrasound scan examination? Benefits Ultrasound scanning is noninvasive. An ultrasound scan exam may be occasionally, temporarily uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging modalities. Ultrasound imaging is extremely safe and does not use any ionizing radiation. Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues such as liver that do not show up well on x-rays. Risks There are no known harmful effects on humans related to ultrasound scan examinations.   What are the limitations of Ultrasound Scan Imaging?  Ultrasound waves do not travel well in bowel or gas so you can not fully evaluate abdominal organs such as stomach and bowel or organs obscured by the bowel. It can also be hard to fully visualise the internal anatomy of large patients as the sound has further to travel and therefore the returning echoes are weaker.   Why choose us for your private scan? 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. Unlike some of our competitors, we provide you with a private scan report at the same day to fast track any potential treatment.  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, urology, musculoskeletal, gynaecology, pelvis, testicular and vascular scan examinations. You can, therefore be assured that your health is in good hands. Our range of private scan 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 private scans can be viewed via the site menu. Our competitively priced private scan services 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 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 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.     

  • 0 Private Pregnancy scans and Scanxiety

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    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 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 the early pregnancy/reassurance 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.       What can be seen on ultrasound during the early Pregnancy Scan Pregnancy or baby ultrasound scans are a routine part of prenatal care. Ultrasound scans are completely painless, have no known side effects on mothers or babies, and can be carried out at any stage of pregnancy: in early pregnancy, ultrasound is being used to confirm the baby's heartbeat and exclude any early stage abnormalities; later in pregnancy ultrasound is being used to evaluate the baby's overall health. It may be worth noting that spotting is common in pregnancy. Usually, it's nothing to worry about, but it's always best to double check with your doctor or midwife.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.    

  • 0 Our Most Frequent Pregnancy Scans

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    p>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 a single or multiple pregnancy 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 neccesary information  about the pregnancy. Risks There are no known harmful effects on humans related to pregnancy ultrasound examinations. Although urasound has been used in pregnancy for more than 40  years with no evidence suggestining 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 your doctor.  Our sonographers will also discuss the results with you during and after your examination. Our sonographers are advanced practicioners 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 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 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, unfortunatelly 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 convception) a small gestation sac might be visible. At 6 weeks, the yolk sac, the embryo (foetal pole) and the heart beat might be visible. At 7 weeks the embryo will be around 10mm with fast heart beat. At 8 weeks, the embryo will be around 16mm and the body and the head might be distinguisable. Embryonic movement might also 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’ 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. Unlike some of our competitors we provide you with a report while you wait to fast track any potential treatment.  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 include, 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 musculo-skeletal 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.    Emergency London Pregnancy Ultrasound Services Our ultrasound scan clinic in London now offers emergency on-call pregnancy ultrasound services.We understand that health problems can arise any time of day and night. The NHS does not always compliment their physical examination with an emergency ultrasound scan due to availability of equipment and staff.If you were to require an emergency pregnancy ultrasound scan, whether it be late evening during weekends and Saturdays or all day Sunday then please call 07539 290816 in order to see our availability and arrange a convenient time.Please see our emergency ultrasound scan page for more information.

  • 0 Pregnancy Ultrasound Scan

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    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 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 stomach 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, also a gel is going to be put on your stomach and a hand held probe/scanner/transducer will be moved in various directions on the skin to allow you to realize your infant in your womb. Ultrasound scans may also be carried out utilizing a vaginal probe. If this is true, you'll not typically should have a complete urinary bladder since these sorts of ultrasound scans provide a clearer image, particularly in early pregnancy. While the scan has been carried out, the operator will usually explains what she/he is looking at, and you may be given a black and white print of the image to take home with you, since well since information along with graphs of various measurements. Some units even gives you the option to get your scan recorded on also a video tape, which you can buy. Do ultrasound scans hurt? Ultrasound scans are completely painless, and also to date there is no medical evidence to prove who they can harm either this pregnant woman or her infant. Seeing your baby moving around throughout the scan can be extremely enjoyable and reassuring. In case your baby is developing typically and also to monitor its growth along with well being. Show the exact position of your infant and the placenta evaluate bleeding in early pregnancy, along with exclude 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, amniotic fluid volume and blood flow to the womb along the umbilical cord where possible allow you to find out the sex of your baby at the 20 week scan, but if you want to know you will probably have to ask.

  • 0 6 Week Baby Ultrasound Scan

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

      Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the world of pregnancy ultrasounds. 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 fo your pregnancy. The 20 week scan scan will provide information about your baby's growth and development. A 5 weeks scan will offer very limited information about your pregnancy unless there is suspicion of ectopic and therefore the 6 weeks is the most common gestation age that an ultrasound is performed. A 5 week scan maybe performed if you experience pelvic pain in one side of your pelvis or shoulder tip pain. This ultrasound scan will check for any evidence of an ectopic pregnancy. It can sometimes be inconclusive and a follow up scan might be required. Ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg attaches itself outside of the uterus with most common location being the fallopian tube on the side where you ovulated from. The 6 weeks scan is also limited but in most cases can confirm the pregnancy and viability. It is mainly performed when there are concerns about the pregnancy and to confirm the gestational age. 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.   Reasons for a 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. 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. At 6 weeks, you won't 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 feotal pole if visible. Sometimes 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. Everyone obviously is different and sometimes a follow up ultrasound in a week to 10 days might be necessary to give you more information.   What to expect during your 6 week ultrasound scan It is more likely that at 6 weeks gestation age you will need to have a transvaginal or internal ultrasound scan insteed 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.   Your baby at 6 weeks At 6 weeks, your baby should measure approximately 5-9mms in length. 6 weeks into your pregnancy is also the earliest time you might be able to see the foetal pole and the foetal heartbeat. 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 from at this early stage in pregnancy. Sometimes only the gestation sac is visible with no foetal pole of yolk sac and you might be asked to come back in a week to 10 days as you could be ealier in your pregnancy than you think.    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 your 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 neccesary 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 suggestining 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? You will normally 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 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, unfortunatelly 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 convception) a small gestation sac might be visible. At 6 weeks, the yolk sac, the embryo (foetal pole) and the heart beat might be visible. At 7 weeks the embryo will be around 10mm with fast heart beat. At 8 weeks, the embryo will be around 16mm and the body and the head might be distinguisable. Embryonic movement might also 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. Unlike some of our competitors we provide you with a report while you wait to fast track any potential treatment.  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 include 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 musculo-skeletal exams to evaluate moving joints.   Looking for an pregnancy reassurance 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.    Emergency Early Ultrasound Scan Service in London Our ultrasound scan clinic in London now offers emergency on-call ultrasound services.We understand that health problems can arise any time of day and night. The NHS does not always compliment their physical examination with an emergency ultrasound scan due to availability of equipment and staff.If you were to require an emergency ultrasound scan, whether it be late evening during weekends and Saturdays or all day Sunday then please call 07539 290816 in order to see our availability and arrange a convenient time.Please see our emergency ultrasound scan page for more information.

  • 0 Pregnancy Scans

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    Pregnancy Scans A pregnancy ultrasound scan is the same as a ‘normal’ ultrasound scan 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 be offered two ultrasound scans during your pregnancy from the NHS. The first 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 do not believe that 2 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 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 might refer you for an abdominal/liver scan or a kidney scan to check for anything that might explain your symptoms.Although these 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.

  • 0 What is an Ultrasound Scan

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    The ultrasound scan or ultrasonography as otherwise known is a painless diagnostic 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. A sound frequency that the human ear can’t hear. These are the frequencies used by the navy sonar and by animal echolocation such as dolphins and bats. The ultrasound waves are produced by the transducer or the probe as most commonly known. As these sound waves travel through the body bounce back because of differences in the tissues. The bounced back sound waves are called echoes. These echoes are picked up by the probe and a powerful computer analyses them and creates the 2d ultrasound image on the scanner screen. There are various kinds of sonograms 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. Ultrasound, therefore, is being used in all stages of pregnancy starting from as early as 5 weeks gestation. It is also live and is ideal for musculoskeletal exams to evaluate moving joints.   What are the benefits and risks of sonography? Benefits  Ultrasound scans are noninvasive. An ultrasound scan exam may be occasionally, temporarily uncomfortable, but it should not be painful. Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging modalities. Ultrasound scans are extremely safe and do not use any ionizing radiation. Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues such as liver that does not show up well on x-rays. Risks  There are no known harmful effects on adults or babies related to an ultrasound scan. Unlike some other scans, such as CT, ultrasound scans don't involve exposure to radiation.     What are the limitations of Ultrasound Imaging?   Sound waves do not travel well in bowel or gas so abdominal organs such as stomach and bowel or organs obscured by bowel cannot be fully evaluated with ultrasound.   It can also be hard to fully visualise internal anatomy of large patients as the sound waves have further to travel and therefore the returning echoes are weaker.   Are there any special preparations needed for a scan? This will depend on the kind of imaging test you are having. You should have received information about preparation with your appointment confirmation. It is therefore very important to read your confirmation letter/e-mail carefully.   Who will I see? Our Sonographer, a Health Care Professional specifically trained to perform and understand the ultrasound scan images, will do your ultrasound scan exam and provide you with a written ultrasound scan report that you can take it your doctor.  Our sonographers will also discuss the ultrasound scan results with you during and after your scan.     How long does a scan usually take? The actual examination takes 10 to 15mins depending on the scan you having. Please allow some extra time for your ultrasound report.     How much does an ultrasound scan cost? The price of a private ultrasound scan in London shouldn’t be prohibited when it comes to someone’s wellbeing. This is why our ultrasound scan prices are competitive and affordable with no compromise to the level of care. The price you see for the ultrasound scan is the price you pay with no hidden extras and no booking fees   Where can I get a scan? In the UK your doctor can refer you for a scan to your nearest NHS hospital. The waiting time in most hospitals is around 6 weeks. You can, therefore, opt to have a private ultrasound with prices starting from as little as £99.  

  • 0 Ultrasound

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    Ultrasound Ultrasound scanning is the use of high-frequency sound waves to produce images of organs, tissues, or blood flow within a patient for diagnostic purposes. Due to the use of sound waves instead of radiation, ultrasound procedures are believed to be completely safe.   Ultrasound procedures    The most common ultrasound procedures are: Pelvic scans: This scan can be performed both transabdominal and transvaginally. Transabdominal scans require a full bladder. You will need to consume a litre of water 30 to 60 minutes prior to your scan taking place. The ultrasound probe is pushed against the lower abdominal wall to look down into the pelvis. A transvaginal (TV) Scan is performed with an empty bladder, using a thin probe inserted into the vagina. This allows detailed information to be obtained by having the probe closer to the pelvic organs. Abdominal scans: Performed transabdominally, these scans usually involve fasting for four hours before the examination to allow for improved imaging of the liver and gall bladder. Renal scans: Performed transabdominally with a full bladder, this requires the patient to drink a litre of water 30 to 60 minutes prior to the scan taking place. This scan then helps to assess the kidneys and bladder. Doppler Venous/arterial scans:  Doppler imaging analyses the flow of blood within vessels.   Musculoskeletal scans: These are carried out by a musculoskeletal specialist    

  • 0 8- 12 Week Ultrasound

    • by Administrator
    • 21-01-2019
    0.00 of 0 votes

    Your eight week ultrasound can be an exciting and apprehensive moment. If this is your first ultrasound you will be understandably anxious. Getting a glimpse of your baby for the first time is big. It’s important to remember that you have control of any decisions made about your pregnancy. You are allowed to refuse any tests suggested by a healthcare professional if you feel unsure about them. If you don’t understand something that has been suggested for you, always ask for more information. Pregnancy healthcare professionals are used to lots of questions so ask away! The purpose of an 8 week ultrasound From anywhere between eight 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 ultrasound. 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 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 earlier ultrasound 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 heart beat 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 an 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 around 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 the 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 until they 12 week ultrasound, 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 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 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.

 

 

 

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