What is Ultrasound? – An ultrasound is the use of high-frequency sound waves to visualize structures within the body. A small device referred to as a transducer is used to send sound waves into the body, which are then reflected off of internal structures. The returning sound waves (echoes) are captured by the same transducer and sent to the attached equipment which electronically changes the echoes into a picture of the unborn child.
Is Ultrasound Safe? – The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine has issued the following statement in regards to the clinical safety of ultrasound:
“No confirmed biological effects on patients or instrument operator caused by exposure at intensities typical of present diagnostic instruments have ever been reported. Although the possibility exists that such biological effects may be identified in the future, current data indicate that the benefits to patients of prudent use of ultrasound outweigh the risks, if any, that may be present.”
Will Ultrasound Hurt? – The ultrasound itself is painless but to obtain the best image possible, mild discomfort might occur with the pressure or angling being used by the sonographer to acquire the images. A gel-like substance is applied to the skin surface of the tummy so that the transducer will have better contact; the gel might be slightly cold but not painful.
What is the Optimal Time for Viewing? – This depends on how you would like to see the baby. Before 24 weeks, babies have a more skeletal appearance with 4D, but you are able to see more of the baby at once. From 28-36 weeks, babies are developing the fat layer that fills in their features so that you will see more facial detail at this time. Generally, the best time to visit is between 26-34 weeks into the pregnancy. 4D imaging depends upon the baby’s position, size, movement, maternal tissue and the amount of amniotic fluid, so we cannot guarantee image quality due to those factors. For Twins, the best time is before 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Preparation for the Procedure – A full bladder is NOT required for this procedure. Patients must be well hydrated and a minimum of 2 – 3 days before the exam to ensure optimum fluid levels.
THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT COVERED BY YOUR INSURANCE
This is an elective non-diagnostic procedure, therefore, insurance will not cover any of the costs associated with the procedure. All costs are to be covered by the patient at the time of the procedure. Color pictures cost $140.00, and black and white pictures $115.00. This is a non-refundable procedure, up to two attempts will be permitted to try and obtain the best image if the baby’s orientation isn’t optimal.