Pregnancy Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a painless examination to assess fetal growth, position and anatomy, and placental site, as well as the maternal uterus and ovaries. Medicare provides a rebate for ultrasound during the first and second trimester, and when there is a clinical concern.

An accredited sonographer will conduct the ultrasound and produce the best possible images. One of our radiologists will review these images and a report and images will be sent to the doctor who requested the ultrasound.

At South Coast Radiology, our sonographers care about your patient and their baby. Capturing the full detail of the moving baby on ultrasound is exciting for patients and their family, but also technically demanding for the sonographer. Patients should not be alarmed if a sonographer re-examines a part of the baby or asks the radiologist to be in attendance during the ultrasound. This simply helps improves the accuracy of the results.

Ultrasound can detect many, but not all, abnormalities. Demonstrating a fetal abnormality on ultrasound depends on many factors, including fetal age and fetal position at the time of the ultrasound, and the size and type of abnormality. Image clarity depends on the resolution of the equipment and how well the ultrasound can pass through the maternal abdominal wall. For example, image clarity is reduced when the mother’s abdominal is thickened due to obesity or scarred.

At South Coast Radiology we employ experienced, qualified sonographers accredited with the Australian Sonographer Accreditation Registry, and invest in the latest equipment to ensure patients receive the very best patient care. Our staff use ultrasound with care to ensure that patients benefit from what ultrasound offers, with minimum risk.

 

Are there any risks?

Since the 1980s, ultrasound has been extensively used throughout Australia and the world for medical imaging. The images are created when tissues at different depths reflect the ultrasound waves transmitted into the body, similar to radar used by boats and ships. At the intensities used for diagnostic medical purposes, no soft tissue damage has ever been observed in human or mammalian tissue. The sonographer will set the equipment to the lowest intensity necessary to achieve high quality images.

 

After ultrasound

A radiologist will interpret the ultrasound images and provide the referring doctor with a comprehensive report. The patient will be advised to return to the referring doctor to discuss the results.

If you are a registered a referrer you can access your patient’s utrasound images and report through our secure online archival system, or view the films we provide. For more information about registering to access patient images visit the Access Medinexus Portal section.

 

First trimester ultrasound

During the first trimester, a doctor might request an ultrasound to determine the gestational age, if the patient doesn’t know her LMP. If the patient has had symptoms such as bleeding or pain during the first trimester, an ultrasound can determine whether the pregnancy is within the uterus in the correct position, or whether she might have miscarried.

Medicare will provide a rebate for one or more scans during this period if certain clinical criteria are met.

 

Second trimester ultrasound

During the second trimester, a morphology scan (18-22 weeks) is used to check fetal growth, numerous important organs such as the spine, heart, brain and kidneys, placental site, and amniotic fluid volume. During the morphology scan, the sonographer will check for signs of a possible genetic problem.

All Australian women are encouraged to have a morphology scan, and Medicare will provide a rebate for one or more scans during this period depending on the clinical situation and whether an obstetrician or GP refers the patient.

 

Third trimester ultrasound

During the third trimester, an ultrasound can check the fetal position, placental appearance and site, how much fluid is around the baby, fetal well-being and the baby’s growth compared with previous scans and the expected date of delivery.

Whether Medicare will provide a rebate for one or more scans during this period, depends on meeting certain clinical criteria and whether an obstetrician or GP refers the patient.

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/mbsonline/publishing.nsf/Content/Factsheet-EMSN-1_Jan_2011