Ultrasound is a common test during pregnancy that uses high frequency sound waves to examine the anatomy and structures of the developing baby. Ultrasound machines emit no radiation and have never been shown to produce any known physical or chemical changes that could affect the developing baby.
Sometimes, particular attention may be directed to certain portions of the developing baby's anatomy, especially if there is a concern about certain types of fetal problems based on other tests or family history. This specialized ultrasound examination is called a Level II ultrasound or targeted ultrasound and is usually performed in mid-pregnancy. At the Prenatal Diagnosis Center a qualified ultrasound technologist performs the first part of the study, and then one of our physicians completes it. The results of the ultrasound examination will be explained to the patient and her family before she leaves the unit. Results are relayed to the patient's health care provider the day of the ultrasound.
A targeted ultrasound is useful in determining the size and position and internal anatomy of the fetus, but there are limitations. Some abnormalities may not be detected until later in the pregnancy, or not at all.
The Prenatal Diagnosis Center staff makes resource information and literature about targeted ultrasound available to patients and their families. Please call us with your questions and requests for further information. We can be reached by calling the Prenatal Diagnosis Center at 401-453-7510.
Please click here for a patient referral form (PDF).