Big congrats on completing half of your pregnancy journey successfully! Don’t you feel a lot better now that you’re here? The most anticipated stage of your pregnancy has arrived, and you will most likely be able to see the face and learn the gender of your tiny human!
An anomaly scan can reveal the gender of your child as well as how well your child is developing inside your womb.
This scan will provide you with one of the tensest experiences of your life!
The Jammi Scans prioritizes every woman’s wellness at every stage of her life, staying true to its beliefs and values in the process.
The Anomaly Scan is one of the best women’s wellness procedures offered by our clinic because pregnancy is one of the most delicate and life-altering experiences for any woman.
And we have tried to address most of your concerns and queries around the anomaly scan in this post for you.
What is Anomaly Scan?
A level 2 ultrasound or a morphology scan, or the TIFFA (Targeted Imaging For Fetal Anomalies) scan, the anomaly scan happens to be taken near the middle of your pregnancy. The scan will give you information about your womb and the little one inside it.
A perfect mid-pregnancy scan is used by the sonographer to determine whether the baby is developing normally and to assess the position of the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.
A black-and-white 2D side-view image of your baby’s development inside your womb can also be expected from modern scan centers.
Which week of pregnancy is best for an anomaly scan?
The 18 and 21 weeks of your pregnancy are perfect for the anomaly scan!
Most of the baby’s vital organs have already developed by this mid-pregnancy. A scan during this time will help doctors identify any problems with the growth and plan any necessary precautions. The scan allows doctors to monitor the baby’s growth and movement.
They can determine if the internal organs are developing normally and if there are any birth defects. The scan can determine the amount of amniotic fluid present as well as the position of the placenta and umbilical cord.
Is an anomaly scan necessary? What abnormalities can be detected in an anomaly scan?
Most infants are healthy and normal. But regardless of their age, every woman has a slight chance of giving birth to a child who has structural flaws that result in physical or mental disability. The fetal anomaly scan can diagnose and rule out many of these abnormalities.
Because a healthy baby should be larger and more developed by 18 and 22 weeks, the anomaly scan provides clinicians with more information than earlier scans.
Severe chromosomal conditions, such as Edwards’ syndrome are now frequently detected during the first trimester of antenatal screening, but it will usually be more obvious at the 18- 20 week scan, though a firm diagnosis will usually not be made until one or two specialists have weighed all available evidence about the baby – which usually means that another expert needs to scan the baby development again, or until the woman has given birth.
Here is what the anomaly scan in detail looks for;
Except for the needle prick required for the blood test, the ultrasound and related blood tests are painless and pose no risk to you or your unborn child.
With the NT screen alone, false positives are relatively frequent, which may prompt follow-up procedures that carry more risk and unnecessary worry. However, remember that your chances of having a child that is entirely healthy are really high.
Can anomaly scans detect down syndrome?
One in a thousand births have chromosomal imbalances, such as Down’s syndrome or Trisomy 21. Regardless of whether you decide to keep the pregnancy going or end it, you might want to be aware of this before the baby is born.
It also observes structural abnormalities like spina bifida, cleft lip/palate, significant clubfeet, body wall abnormalities, major urinary abnormalities, and major heart defects, as well as a variety of subtle markers that may indicate Down syndrome.
However, the First Trimester Screening (FTS) test is unquestionably superior in this regard. Only an amniocentesis (testing the fluid surrounding the baby for its chromosomes) can give you this information with certainty since 30% to 50% of cases of Down syndrome seem normal on ultrasound pregnancy scans.
Symptoms known as ultrasound markers are occasionally present in infants with chromosomal abnormalities. These include choroid plexus cysts in the brain, absent nasal bone, mild fluid in the ventricles of the brain, aberrant subclavian artery in the neck, occasionally short arms or legs, thick skin behind the neck (nuchal fold), and absent nasal bone in that order.
While some infants with chromosomal abnormalities may exhibit these symptoms, it’s important to keep in mind that many healthy infants do as well. A precise diagnosis or exclusion of a chromosomal issue can only be made through amniocentesis.
The following image is a list of the various types of congenital abnormalities and how likely scanning is to detect each problem.
Benefits of Anomaly Scan
The anomaly scan can pick up on a variety of conditions that can be treated either before or after your baby is born. Your healthcare provider can provide the best care and treatment for you and your unborn child thanks to these scans.
The scan looks for abnormalities and early detection is extremely beneficial for both the mother and the child. It aids medical professionals in making decisions about the next steps.
It is less frequent to find severe structural anomalies like anencephaly, skeletal dysplasia, and kidney abnormalities.
Since these conditions cannot be treated and could harm the unborn child, the only option in such situations is to terminate the pregnancy. Once the fetus reaches 20 weeks, medical termination of pregnancy is not permitted in India.
Therefore, early detection of such abnormalities will enable a fetus to be safely medically terminated.
Process of a congenital anomaly scan
Your sonographer will carefully examine all of the different parts of your baby’s body during the congenital anomaly scan. You’ll be instructed to lie down on a couch and pull your pants down to your hips to begin the procedure. To keep your abdomen exposed, you would also need to lift your top to your chest.
The sonographer will then wrap your clothing in tissue paper to protect it from the scanned gel. The area of your stomach where the handheld probe will be used to scan the body of your baby will be covered with this gel.
Here are the typical procedures that sonographers will perform during the congenital anomaly scan to give you an idea of what you’ll see:
- The sonographer will examine your child’s head and brain. Even though they are rare, brain conditions will be apparent at this point.
- When the baby’s face is examined, cleft lip or palate deformities are discovered.
- To ensure that the baby’s spine is covered by skin and that the baby’s bones are developing normally, the spine is examined.
- Next is the baby’s abdominal wall. The sonographer verifies that each internal organ is protected.
- The sonographer examines the baby’s heart, paying close attention to the main veins and arteries to make sure that blood is being transported to and from the child’s heart.
- You will be able to see the amniotic fluid that your baby is lying in when the baby’s stomach is examined. Typically, it appears as a black bubble.
- The sonographer will then examine the baby’s kidneys and determine if it has two kidneys.
- To make sure they are complete, examine your baby’s other body parts, including their arms, hands, feet, and other body parts.
- In case there are any issues with the placement of your baby’s umbilical cord, the placenta and cord are also examined.
Is an anomaly scan in pregnancy safe for the baby?For 40 years, ultrasound scans have been used to keep track of pregnancies. According to the evidence so far, ultrasound is safe for both mother and child. However, based on the ALARA principle—As Low As Reasonably Achievable—we believe it is wise to scan only when there is a valid reason to do so and to use the fewest sound waves possible.
Anomaly scan twin pregnancyBecause twins are more difficult to examine than a single baby, your anomaly scan may be delayed for a week or two. When your babies are a little bigger, your sonographer will be able to see more detail.
Is it possible for a twin to go undetected during an ultrasound scan?
Yes! Ultrasound scans are not without flaws. Some classic examples: what appears to be a penis turns out to be a vulva, and you’ve got a baby girl instead of a baby boy. But since ultrasounds are sonographic pictures of what’s going on beneath the surface, they must be approached with caution.
Accuracy of the Anamoly scan
Because of your baby’s position or age, the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby, your own body weight, or scar tissue left by an abdominal operation, such as a previous Caesarean section, the sonographer may not always be able to get a clear view.
Although the sonographer and doctors are usually confident in their findings, no screening test can detect every case. This means that in a small number of cases, babies are born with health or chromosomal conditions that were not detected by the scan.
Can we do an anomaly scan twice?
The majority of problems that necessitate repeat scanning are minor.
Approximately 15% of scans will be repeated for one reason or another.
This occurs frequently and does not indicate that the sonographer has discovered anything to be concerned about.
If the sonographer is unable to obtain a clear image of the baby after two attempts, you will not be offered another scan.
Similarly, if doctors suspect that your baby has a heart defect, they will ask you to come in for a fetal echo. The fetal echo scan will examine your baby’s heart in great detail.
Although such serious issues are uncommon, some families must make the most difficult decision of all: whether to terminate the pregnancy.
Other issues may necessitate surgery or treatment after birth, or even surgery while the baby is still in the uterus. It is crucial that your obstetrician-gynecologist is also a fetal medicine specialist who can offer her expertise to guide you through any difficult times.
What happens if a problem is discovered or suspected during the scan?
If a problem is discovered or suspected, your sonographer or fetal medicine specialist would then inform you of the concerns.
You may be offered another test, such as an ‘amniocentesis,’ to determine whether or not there is a problem. If you are offered additional tests, you will be given more information about them. You can then decide whether or not to have them. Click here for a list of diagnostic screening tests available at Jammi Scans.
What will happen if a type of abnormality is discovered?
This is determined by the type of abnormality and its severity. Some abnormalities may not be serious, and others may resolve on their own. In either of these cases, you may be offered additional scans to monitor the condition throughout your pregnancy.
Is there anything that can be done before birth?
Knowing about a condition before the baby is born can help parents prepare, and it can sometimes help to plan treatment after the baby is born.
For example, if your baby is known to have a problem that will necessitate an operation soon after birth, such as the repair of a hernia in your baby’s tummy, plans can be made to have your baby delivered in a hospital where this can be done within the first few hours after birth.
Can the baby undergo surgery before birth?Unfortunately, only a very small number of issues can be solved in this manner.
Limitations of the anomaly scan
The 18-20 week scan has some limitations.
Though the 18-20 week scan can detect when certain parts of the baby’s body have grown abnormally, doctors may not be able to determine why this has occurred or make a firm diagnosis based on the scan alone. Doctors will sometimes wait to give the baby more time to develop before performing repeat scans.
At the scan facility in the Jammi Scans, we work with highly qualified sonographers-gynecologists-obstetrician who are adept at spotting the fetus’ soft markers.
In order to plan the best course of action, the doctors will recommend additional tests. Not all anomalies result in pregnancy termination; some can be treated, and only a small minority will have any impact on the baby’s development. Contact our helpdesk to book your appointments now.