The anomaly scan is also called as level 2 ultrasound .It is a detailed evaluation of fetal anatomic structures ,placenta and development of baby. This scan is an important component of routine antenatal care.
It is a more in depth and extensive evaluation of baby as compared to level 1 ultrasound. It is usually performed at 18-20 weeks of pregnancy.
Which week is best for anomaly scan?
This scan is conducted between 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy, most often performed at 19 weeks. At this time all the organs of the baby are developed and so can be seen on ultrasound.
Prior to 18 weeks of pregnancy, the fetal organs may not be fully developed to allow for ultrasound evaluation. If level 2 ultrasound are performed beyond 22 weeks ,then the radiologist may not be able to see the organs properly.
Also read: Ultrasounds in pregnancy
Is anomaly scan painful?
No, Its not painful.
Anomaly scan is just like any other ultrasound that is done abdominally. You will be asked to lay on your back for the ultrasound.
How long does it take in anomaly scan?
Time required for the anomaly scan depends on the movements of baby.If the baby is moving actively inside the womb then the radiologist can see all the organs from all the angles.
Usually it takes about 30 minutes for the complete anomaly scan.
But if the radiologist is not able to see some part of baby, he/she may ask you to eat something and take a walk for half an hour.So that the baby moves and all the parts can be seen.In that case the anomaly scan can take upto one hour.
How to prepare for anomaly scan
No special preparartion is required for this anomaly scan.
There is no need to with hold urine for full bladder.
You should take normal meal before your appointment for ultrasound.Preferably take something sweet so that baby movements are good. But if you have gestational diabetes then avoid sweets.
What is seen on anomaly scan?
An anomaly scan or level 2 ultrasound is a detailed scan of the fetal anatomy.Following things of fetus and placenta can be daignosed in these scans.
|FETAL CONDITIONS||PLACENTAL CONDITIONS||MATERNAL CONDITIONS|
|Chromosomal abnormalities||placenta previa||Ovarian mass|
|Cleft lip/palate||circumvallete placenta||short cervical length|
|diaphragmatic hernia||two vessel cord||fibroids|
|abdominal wall defects||vellamentous insertion of cord|
|open spina bifida|
|lethal skeletal dysplasia|
|serious cardiac abnormalities|
Some more general information is also obtained from anomaly scans.These are:-
- Fetal heart beat
- amniotic fluid volume
- estimated fetal weight
- gestational age
- position of fetus
Results of the scan
Anomaly scan should always be done in a good ultrasound centre.If some fetal anomaly is picked by the radiologist ,then a second opinion can be taken from another senior radiologist.
Some soft markers of the chromosomal abnormalities or aneuploidy may be picked.In that case your doctor may advise NIPT test or amniocentesis.
In most cases, babies develop normally, and no anomalies are picked up.It must also be remembered that there are chances the baby may be born with an anomaly that went undetected in the anomaly scan.
Why is Anomaly scan important?
These scans are very important because if any congenital abnormality is detected which is incompatible with life,then patient is offered termination of pregnancy.
It is emotionally very disturbing when a baby with any congenital abnormality is born after nine months.Especially when this abormality is incompatible with life.So by a timely anomaly scan we can know if there is any abnormality. And thus advice termination itself after the scan.
If the problems are identified before birth then you can plan your delivery in a tertiary care hospital.So that if any surgery is required immediately after birth it can be done.Immediate intervention post delivery will enhance the chance of recovery and survival of baby.
What is the cost of Anomaly Scan?
The cost of anomaly scan in India may vary from ₹2000 to ₹4000. It depends from place to place. But it is very important that you should get it done from a good ultrasound centre.
Also read: Is it ok to have sex during Pregnancy ?