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AMA Ultrasounds

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am almost 40 and have been referred to a high risk perinatal practice in addition to my regular OB.  I have had two ultrasounds so far - one at 6 weeks and one at 8 weeks. Both were 2 minute quick ultrasounds to check that there was a heartbeat.  But they are also wanting to do a 12 week NT scan, a 20 week anatomy scan AND a heart scan somewhere between 20 and 24 weeks.  I understand the 12 week scan and the 20 weeks scan (and am totally on board for them) but why would they do separate anatomy and heart scans?  I know you can see the heart at 20 weeks.  To go in for a separate heart scan seems a bit much to me.  Anybody else have these recommended?

post #2 of 6

This doesn't directly answer your question, but I would think about what you will do with the information you get at the various scans.  If you would use the information in the 12 week scan to terminate if there was a trisomy, that's one thing.  But if you wouldn't change the course of the pregnancy, you can get the same information in the 20 week scan.  So that would reduce the number of long scans right there.  And I always understood that the 20 week anatomy scan contains an extended heart screening (mine did with my daughter, at least), so an additional scan seems unnecessary unless for some reason the heart isn't easily accessible due to baby's positioning. 


My overall point is to think about the information YOU want and how you would use it and then think through how many ultrasounds you want from there.  And definitely ask for clarification on the extra heart scan, since that sounds strange to me, but I've never had a high-risk pregnancy.  Good luck!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am okay with the 12 week scan.  It measures the fluid behind the neck that can indicate trisomy.  That fluid can be reabsorbed by the baby after about 14 weeks so a 20 week ultrasound can not indicate downs syndrome.  No, I would not terminate if the test came back high risk. nor would I have an amnio done based on it.  If my insurance covered one of the new blood tests, I would have them.  If the baby did have a problem, I would like to be able to prepare for it while pregnant. I think I will question the special heart ultrasound.  Unless the anatomy scan shows a problem, I think I will turn that one down as I know they will check the heart anatomy at 20 weeks. 


My sister says this medical group will also want to do 2 to 3 scans later in pregnancy to follow growth as well!!!  I don't think so.  As long as I am gaining weight, I will trust Baby is growing fine.  I know being 40 increases risks but that seems a bit ridiculous to me.

post #4 of 6
Scans for growth after 20 weeks are notoriously inaccurate. I wouldn't want one unless there was some sort of concern about the baby being too small. Your insurance may not cover the new blood tests, but I have heard many people say that for at least one of them, you can pay out of pocket and they charge a little more than $200. It might be worth it. I would ask them about the heart ultrasound too. It seems unnecessary unless you have a higher risk factor for heart defects for some reason. I was 38 and I did not have an extra heart scan. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
post #5 of 6

Our anatomy scan included screening the different parts of the heart as well as many other organs, so I'm not sure why they would want to do a separate one for it again. Do you have a history of heart defects in your family or something like that?


Also, I agree with you on not doing additional scans to check for growth. The 20 week anatomy scan covers all the major areas and is done at that time because they are developed enough to be able to see and evaluate. At that point you can track your weight gain, measure your fundus to ensure proper growth, and also you will be able to feel the baby kicking and monitor it that way as well.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

The NT scan went great!!!  Baby looks great and we could see a lot of "stuff"  I did not think we would be able to see yet.  We were able to see all four chambers of the heart, the bladder, brain and the stomach.  We were also able to make a pretty good guess that Baby is a boy :-D


I talked with the doctor a bit.  She said they would do the 20 week scan but did not say anything about a special one for the heart.  She did say that because I will be 40 they will want to do growth scans every 4 weeks or so!  WHAT!?!?  Sigh.  I don't want scans that often.  Yes I love seeing my baby but it makes me uncomfortable.  And I don't want them to use a well growing baby as an excuse to try to get me to deliver early (baby measured a week ahead at this scan and my last baby was 8lbs 12 oz.)  My biggest worry is that I am wanting a VBAC and where I live is notorious for frowning on them.  There is only one practice group and one other doctor that will do them in our city.  If I start kicking about the ultrasounds, am I going to be labeled uncooperative and that make it harder to get my VBAC?

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