Anomaly Scan – An In-depth Look Into Your Womb
An anomaly scan is also known as a mid-pregnancy scan, during which a close look at your baby and your womb (uterus) is performed.
The person carrying out the scan check that the baby is developing normally or not and look at where the placenta is lying.
Anomaly Scan is also called “level two” ultrasound, because it is basically a survey to detect the most common anomalies, which means that minor or very subtle anomalies may still be missed and may be detected later during the pregnancy or after birth.
It is done at 18–21 weeks of the pregnancy and it is basically to look for congenital anomalies in the foetus. Detail anomaly scan takes about 30-45 minutes.
The sonographer takes measurements of various parts of the baby’s body like head, thigh etc. He checks for any abnormalities in any of the organs like heart, kidneys etc. He checks for bone alignment in the spine and shape of hands, feet and fingers.
During the anomaly scan you can be able to see the baby for the first time.
Most often baby’s gender can be determined during this scan. While many abnormalities are picked up during this scan.
Anomaly Scan is a very important scan for both mother and foetus and determines the mental and physical health of both.
It is routinely asked for in all pregnancies for patients at higher risk or not, because neither the doctor nor the mother-to-be wants to take any chances with the health of the baby.
When in doubt after doing a level two scan, a level three scan may actually be recommended which is usually for detailed cardiovascular assessment of the foetus.
During the anomaly scan anatomical review of the fetal organs which are given special attention are the heart and brain.
It is important to identify an anomaly in the foetus in mother’s womb, but knowing what to do in this circumstances and managing this situation requires a different knowledge, experience, training and expertise. Incorrect and incomplete information can lead to big mistakes with bad outcomes.
Depending on the type and severity of condition the foetus is affected with, appropriate antenatal treatment or post-delivery management can be instituted and both parents and doctors can be mentally and physically prepared for what is to follow.
Examples of important anomalies potentially detectable at 12-13 weeks are:
- Congenital heart defects
- Spina bifida
- Congenital diaphragnmatic hernia
- Lethal skeletal dysplasias
- Limb defects
- Cleft lip/palate
Currently, only about one third of the life-threatening defects are spotted during pregnancy through the anomaly scan but more and more efforts are being made to help sonographers to identify the defects easily because
Sporting these defects early is important. Research shows it leads to better survival rates and quality of life. And detection during pregnancy means the necessary preparations can be made such as the right medical experts can be on hand at birth, treatment can begin as early as possible and parents-to-be can receive specialist support.