Providing The Highest Quality Imaging In Nashville
Ultrasound - Is it Safe?
The safety of ultrasound is a common question. Ultrasound has been used for many years without evidence of harm to the fetus. Ultrasound has been tested extensively in the laboratory with no confirmed evidence of tissue damage at the diagnostic levels. Nevertheless, to further protect your baby, we limit the fetal exposure as much as possible. The FDA and American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine prohibit "entertainment and keepsake scans" (simply scanning to obtain video/images). Inner Vision Women’s Ultrasound accreditation by both the American Institue of Ultrasound Medicine and the American College of Radiology testify to our commitment to these guidelines in the interest in of our patients health and safety. Instead of doing a “special” unnecessary portion of the exam for keepsake, we simply record our whole examination and give it to you. This is more thorough, this is safer and provides you a much longer recording. (see below, the section on DVD)
Early Pregnancy Exam
Diagnostic ultrasound exams are performed routinely to confirm pregnancy for our referred patients. It is important to learn if you are pregnant early to be able to allow your provider to establish a routine plan of care for you. At the early examination we assess the age of the pregnancy and the number of fetuses. Very importantly we make sure that the pregnancy is located in a safe place (not ectopic for instance). We also make sure that any bleeding you may have is not due to a worrisome cause.
Nuchal Translucency Screening - First Trimester Down Syndrome Screening
The Nuchal Translucency (NT) screening provides valuable information about your fetus. The Nuchal Translucency screening is a non invasive procedure that is totally safe and includes an ultrasound exam and a simple blood test. The ultrasound exam is performed between 11 weeks 1 day and 13 weeks 6 days with the blood test performed anytime from 9 weeks to 13 weeks 6 days. During the examination we will confirm the gestational date and the measurement of the skin thickness at the back of the fetus’ neck. Babies with some birth defects (such as Down syndrome or cardiac malformation), tend to have a thicker measurement. We also look for the bone in the baby nose and other difficult views of the flow in the baby’s cord and even in the baby’s heart. Not all of these measurements can be obtained in all babies (mostly because of babies unfavorable position or mom’s weight) but we attempt to obtain as many as possible.
The second component of the test is a blood test of the mother which is done with a finger prick to measure the levels of two chemicals commonly found in pregnant women called Beta Human Chorionic Gonadrotropin.
The results of the ultrasound exam are then combined with the mother’s blood test results. Although the NT it will not diagnose a syndrome, it does provide an evaluation of the risk of your baby having a chromosomal disorder such as Down syndrome, trisomies 18 and 13. Being able to assess your risk factor early in the pregnancy will help you and your physician make a informed decision as to whether a more invasive procedure like a Amniocentesis or Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) would be necessary in your pregnancy care plan.
The Amniocentesis is a technique used to obtain fluid from around the baby to analyze some of the component of the fluid for certain types of birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities. The test is generally performed between the 15th and 18th week of pregnancy. Testing consists of acquiring under ultrasound guidance a sampling of about one ounce of the amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac surrounding the fetus.
Second Trimester Examination
This ultrasound exam is performed between 18 weeks and 22 weeks of pregnancy. Measurements are taken to assess fetal growth and the appearance and position of the placenta. The detailed examination of fetal anatomy is performed to confirm that there are no major anomalies. The fetus is also examined to detect any variations of normal anatomy which are found more commonly in babies with chromosomal abnormalities.
Inner Vision Women’s Ultrasound will provide second trimester obstetrical ultrasound patients with a keepsake copy of their exam with the images of the baby on a complimentary DVD. In order to avoid any disruptions to your exam, we do not allow other filming devices during the exam. Recording of the ultrasound procedure is limited to the 18-20 weeks exam during your pregnancy. Please keep in mind, that only if the baby’s position is face up, can we obtain a 3D/4D image of your baby’s face. Visibility of the baby’s images is also affected if the mother is over 185 lbs.
Sonohysterograms are performed for two different type of indications: abnormal bleeding and the assessement of infertility. If you suffer from abnormal bleeding, this procedure is done to distinguish two types of abnormal bleeding. One can be due to abnormal levels of hormones, and the other may be due to the presence of a little extra piece of tissue in the uterus called a polyp or a submucosal fibroid. If you have had difficulties in keeping an early pregnancy we will do this examination to detect whether scars or small lumps of tissue in your uterus may have caused you to miscarry. If you are unsure whether your tubes are open, we can also inject a few cc of air in the tubes to see if they are open.
This ultrasound exam is performed if your doctor noticed a nodule or an enlargement of the thyroid. Ultrasound is exquisitely good at differentiating solid (and possible dangerous) nodules from simple cysts.
This ultrasound exam is used if there is a suspicion of gallbladder disorder (typically gallstones). You need to fast for at least 6 hours before the exam, so that the gallbladder is full. An incomplete fast causes the gallbladder to be partially contracted and this can hide small stones.
Patients arriving for their appointments more than 10 minutes after their scheduled appointment time, will be worked in between the other scheduled appointments to the best of our ability. It is important to be aware that it may become necessary to reschedule your ultrasound appointment to allow for proper time to complete your exam without compromising the integrity of your exam or others.
IVWU is committed to providing a quality exam for you and for your referring physician's diagnostic needs. Each exam requires concentration and attention to detail to insure complications and problems are not missed in your exam. Therefore, in an effort to minimize distractions during an exam, the number of guests allowed in the room during your exam is a total of two regardless of age. Once your guests are in the room for the exam, there will be no swapping of guests to accommodate more than two guests to view the exam. We respectfully ask for your patience if your sonographer deems that in the best interest of your health and for the integrity of the exam, it would be best to ask your guests to step out of the exam room while the exam is completed.
OB-GYN Patient Preparation
Obstetrical and virginal patients as well as patients requiring cervical measurement will need to arrive with a comfortably full bladder. Those that do not have a full bladder will be asked to drink enough water to attain this status before their exam is completed. OB patients will be scanned both vaginally and abdominally to provide the most detailed diagnostic exam.
Gallbladder Patient Preparation
Gallbladder patients will require fasting (no food or drink) for 6-8 hours prior to your exam.