What is ultrasound?
Unlike x-ray, ultrasound uses no radiation. Instead, images are generated by high (ultra) frequency sound waves which are transmitted by a probe (or transducer) which is moved over the skin. Traditional 2D ultrasound produces images in black, white and shades of gray, and is the primary diagnostic tool that will be used to examine your baby.
What is 3D and 4D ultrasound?
3D ultrasound has been in use since the mid 1990s, and has been an exciting adjunct to 2D ultrasound. With 3D ultrasound, you will view your baby in a remarkable way, seeing detail in contours of the skin. 4D ultrasound adds the element of motion, seeing the 3D image in “real-time”, or as it is happening. You may see your baby moving, smiling, yawning, or even breathing! Many patients enjoy 3D and 4D ultrasounds because it allows them to see their baby for the first time while they’re still in the womb.
Afterward, you’ll be given photos to take home. Shenandoah Women’s HealthCare also offers an optional CD (for a nominal fee), which will include 2D and 3D images, as well as short, real-time color 4D video clips of your little one!
Who will be performing my ultrasound exam?
Shenandoah Women’s HealthCare is proud to employ Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, who are trained professionals specializing in the field of OB and Gyn ultrasound. In addition, their ultrasound department is accredited by the AIUM, which is the governing body for ultrasound in the US. For physicians and nurse-midwives, ultrasounds can offer critical diagnostic information during pregnancy. This innovative technology can help them detect many birth defects before the baby arrives, so that proper care is already in place.
Are ultrasounds safe?
Studies suggest that this technology is perfectly safe. However, they don’t recommend long sessions in which you watch your baby just for your viewing pleasure. You don’t want to expose your baby to more ultrasound waves than is necessary. Brief, controlled viewing while your sonographer is performing the ultrasound for diagnostic purposes is ideal. For that reason, 3D/4D scans are not scheduled separately, but done in conjunction with your medically indicated scan. There is no additional charge for 3D photos obtained during your scan, unless you opt to purchase the CD Picture Package.