Your unborn baby’s heart scan
What is it?
Fetal Echocardiogram is a detailed Ultrasound performed of the baby’s heart before the baby is born. It is a painless test that uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the center of the fetus in real time, which enables the doctor to assess the structure and function of the fetal heart. There is no radiation with this test, and it is entirely safe for the fetus.
What does it show?
Note: Minor heart defects and abnormalities related to the change from fetal circulation to newborn circulation cannot always be detected.
Who needs It?
- If any of your family members had a congenital heart disease
- If you have a history of diabetes or any viral infection
- If you are taking any medicines other than iron/calcium tablets.
- If your obstetrician has suspected an abnormal fetal ultrasound or any abnormality
- Abnormal fetal heart rate or rhythm
- When should it be performed: It is best if performed at 16-20 weeks of gestation, in case any decision needs to be taken regarding termination of pregnancy, which is legal in India until 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Does it need any preparation?
Who Does It?
To perform this study, the trained personnel will apply some gel at the designated area around your/the pregnant woman’s belly, and the ultrasound probe is gently placed on the mother`s abdomen to take pictures.
This test is not painful and does not harm the fetus. Fetal Echocardiogram will take approximately 20-60 minutes to perform, depending upon the images and the case. The fetal heart is quite small, is covered by the rib cage, and may not always be fully visible in certain positions of the baby. Sometimes the patient may need a second or multiple examinations due to technical limitations.
After the study what to expect?
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