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I'm going for my 20 week ultrasound and I was wondering if...

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Question by katie
Submitted on 11/30/2003
Related FAQ: misc.kids FAQ on Ultrasound
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I'm going for my 20 week ultrasound and I was wondering if it is detailed and how much they tell from the ultrasound, such as problems and abnormalities of the baby, (if any)?

Answer by Georgiann1983
Submitted on 10/31/2005
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The Routine 18-20 Week Ultrasound Examination
In the state of Victoria a routine ultrasound examination is offered to most patients between 16-20weeks , and is it is loosely referred to as the "18 week ultrasound". The purpose of this examination is to:

To determine the viability of the pregnancy. In fact the heart rate may be measured as early as 6 weeks gestation.
To determine the number of gestation sacs ie. singleton, twins , triplets and higher multiples.
To determine the size and the gestation of the pregnancy. Several measurements are taken of the baby and include the head size, the abdominal circumference and the femur length.
To assess the fetal anatomy. This involves a detailed examination of the fetal head ,brain, face, lips, heart, stomach, lungs, abdominal wall, kidneys, bladder, spine arms, legs, hands, and feet. Several landmarks within individual organ systems are noted and recorded on video film for archiving. Only upon request is fetal gender disclosed (assuming it can be seen).
Assessment of the position of the placenta.
Assessment of the liquor volume .
Assessment of the pelvic anatomy and the cervix.
This examination is expected to detect the majority of major fetal malformations. It is important to appreciate however that such an examination does not detect all abnormalities. Many congenital heart abnormalities are complex and escape diagnosis at the 18 weeks ultrasound examination. Also in many instances the view of the fetus may he hampered by the fetal position at the time of examination. Also ,the tissue interposed between the ultrasound probe and the baby absorbs the ultrasound waves, so if a particular patient is overweight the fatty tissue of the abdominal wall may make visualisation of the fetus difficult. In these circumstances the patient may be rebooked for further assessment of the fetus.

Finally in certain circumstances fetal abnormalities may not be evident on ultrasound despite adequate views. This may be explained by the natural history of the condition where the abnormality only becomes evident in later pregnancy or where there are in fact no structural changes in the baby (eg. cerebral palsy, biochemical abnormalities and some chromosomal abnormalities).


Answer by Kelly
Submitted on 11/2/2005
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Will I be able to know the sex of my baby at 20 weeks


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