Fetal Doppler

The Facts

The new fetal doppler ultrasounds use high tech equipment to produce a view of your baby that’s almost as clear as a photograph.

A number of experts believe that the technique used allows for more accurate assessment of problems such as spina bifida and cleft palate. However, sonographers need a wider range of skills to use the new ultrasound technology and it’s not yet available in all areas.

fetal doppler

Several centers offer 3-D ultrasounds purely to produce souvenir photos or videos for parents. It is important to remember that the staff at these centers may not be qualified to deal with any problems that arise during an ultrasound.

The scans at such centers are for entertainment purpose only, and may actually provide parents with a false sense of security.

Does it really matter where my fetal doppler is performed?

Where your sonogram is performed can greatly alter the quality of the results you receive. Those performed at modern academic centers can expose abnormalities up to 80% of the time. Doctors offices have a tendency for less advanced equipment and less experienced staff, the detection rate at such offices can fall as low as 13%.

It may be wise to request a registered medical diagnostic ultrasound technician to perform your sonogram and a radiologist or obstetrician who specializes in ultrasound to decipher the results, particularly if previous tests have suggested there may be problems with your pregnancy.

What are the risks or side effects of 3d ultrasound?

There have been a great deal of large studies during the last thirty five years and no evidence has yet been found to suggest that ultrasounds harm the developing baby. Furthermore, no evidence has yet been found to support the theory that multiple ultrasounds can have a cumulative effect.

Some much smaller studies suggest that ultrasounds increase the chance of low birth weight, speech and hearing problems, and left-handedness, however these finding have not been reiterated by more scrupulous research.

What if a problem shows up on the ultrasound?

Try not to panic. Follow up tests usually show that suspected problems are actually of no real concern. However, if it appears that your unborn baby does have a health concern, the findings from your ultrasound can greatly assist your practitioner to work out how to give you and your baby the best possible outcome.

For instance, treatment can be given to a baby whilst still in the womb for serious heart rhythm problems. Further abnormalities, such as a urinary tract blockage, can also be treated in the womb by surgery. Being aware of other birth defects can assist your practitioner in deciding how your baby should be delivered safely and to prepare care for immediately after the birth.

Being aware of problems early on also allows you to consider your own options. This can mean a number of things, from the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy, to allow medical intervention, or to prepare for giving birth to a baby who will require special care.

You may wish to speak to a genetic counselor who will be able to answer most of your questions about all areas of fetal doppler.

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