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Anomaly Scan (structural sonogram)

20 week scan

The 20 week scan is a medical sonogram and takes about 45-60 minutes. We ask you not to bring any children under the age of 4. 

The anomaly scan can be done between 19 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. With this sonogram we can look at the intestines of the baby. We check the brain, skull, face, spinal column, heart, stomach, bowels, bladder and limbs. We also check the amount of amniotic fluid, the position of the placenta and the growth of the baby. In most cases we can see the sex of the baby, but this is not the purpose of the sonogram.

With the 20 week scan we can track down the biggest abnormalities. Smaller abnormalities aren’t always found and there are also diseases that can’t be seen with a sonogram. A good result is therefore not a guarantee for a healthy baby.

With the 20 week scan Down’s Syndrome can’t be tracked!

Choosing for the anomaly scan or not
The 20 week scan is, just as the NIPT and the 13 week scan, not a required examination. You have to think about a bad result thoroughly.

Benefits of the anomaly scan
In the most cases we see a normaly developing child. This is reassuring for the expectant parents.
Sometimes we see abnormalities that you can prepare yourself for. The location of the delivery might be adapted to the result of the test.

Disadvantage of the anomaly scan
It is a good thing to realise that not all the abnormalities are (able to be) seen on the sonogram. The sonogram can make you more insecure. Once in a while there can be doubt about small things. In that case we make an appointment for repetition of the sonogram. Sometimes the abnormality disappeared or turns out to be innocent.

Very rarely we find an abnormality that is so serious that you have to think about ending the pregnancy. This is very burdening of course.

The 20 week scan is covered by health insurance. If a follow-up investigation is required the insurance also covers it. Sometimes you have to pay (a part of) the investigation. This depends of your deductibles. Ask your health insurance about this.

Cervical length measurement

During your anomaly scan we offer to measure your cervical length. This is a vaginal scan. The purpose is to estimate the risk of giving birth premature, so between 24 and 37 weeks. We know that chances are bigger when the cervix is shorter then 3,5 cm, but there are a few more factors which increase the risk, such as smoking, under- or overweight and paradontitis. If your cervix is shorter then average, it doesn’t mean you will give birth premature, it’s just that you risk is higher statistically.

At this moment there are two treatments to lower the chance: medicamentally by dosing a hormone called progesteron vaginally with a pill, or with a pessary, a rubber ring which supports the cervix. These treatments are currently being offered in a study, to research which method is the most effective. If you don’t want to participate in this study it is still possible to measure your cervical length.

During your prenatal check where we schedule the appointment for your anomaly scan we will give you a form with information. If you want to participate we ask you to fill it in and sign it. The sonographer will ask if you want to have your cervical length measured before she starts with the anomaly scan. So please read the form in advance!

Here is a preview of the form: EN – Quadruple P screenig met toestemming 2020

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