3D ultrasound is revolutionising the enjoyment and clinical efficacy of obstetric imaging. Although first described in 1961, three dimensional imaging has undergone dramatic improvements in technology over the past 5 years. Such that 3D and “real time” or “live” 3D or 4D ultrasound is available at the push of a button.
Can I always get a good image of my baby’s face?
It would be hoped that we could get some 3D images of the baby but it is difficult to guarantee getting good images on every babies face. At 20 weeks there is little soft tissue or flesh on the babies cheeks, so usually the face images are better later in the pregnancy, often in the third trimester. There needs to be a reasonable amount of fluid in front of the babies face for the 3D images to be ideal. Also many babies may not be very cooperative on the day and often hide behind their hands or even feet. If they are hiding their faces then it is difficult to photograph them. Some just hate the paparazzi!
Are there any risks with 3D or 4D ultrasound?
No, there are no known side effects of medical ultrasound on the mother or fetus.
What are the advantages of 3D and 4D ultrasound in pregnancy?
- Rapid acquisition of volume data.
- Improved identification of suspected or detected anomalies.
- More accurate identification of the extent and size of anomalies not seen with 2D static scanning.
- Improved recognition of anomalies by non-ultrasound clinicians.
- Improved comprehension/understanding of fetal anatomy by the patient and family.
- Improved maternal/paternal bonding.
- We do 4D scans at 26 weeks for family bonding.