Ultrasound is a common test during pregnancy that uses high frequency sound waves to look at the anatomy and structures of the developing baby. Ultrasound machines don’t use radiation and cause no known physical or chemical changes that could affect your baby.
Sometimes, we must pay particular attention to certain parts of the baby’s anatomy, especially if there is concern about fetal problems based on other tests, on your medication or medical condition, or based on your family history. This specialized ultrasound is called a Level II or targeted ultrasound and is usually performed between 18 and 22 weeks.
The first phase of the Level II ultrasound is conducted by a trained ultrasound technologist. One of our physicians will then complete the study.
Using an instrument called a transducer that is moved over your abdomen, the technologist or physician will measure your baby to see how far along your pregnancy is and to ensure that your baby is growing on schedule. The clinicians will then view the heart, the kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, spine, arms, legs, umbilical cord and reproductive organs to make sure they are developing normally. They will also look at your amniotic fluid levels, the location of the placenta, and the fetal heart rate.
We will explain all the results of the ultrasound to you and your family before you leave and we’ll also send them to your health care provider. If we do find something out of the ordinary on the ultrasound, we’ll explain it carefully and completely, and we’ll schedule time for you to meet with one of our genetic counselors so that you have every opportunity to understand what we’ve found. We can also help make appointments with other specialists if their expertise will be helpful.
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Prenatal Diagnosis Center
Bay Tower Medical Center
101 Plain Street
Providence, RI 02905