3D & 4D Ultrasound

What is an Ultrasound?

An “Ultrasound” and “Sonogram” are two different words with the same meaning. A medical ultrasound is a procedure that uses high frequency sound waves to create images of the internal organs, tissues and vasculature of the human body.

Why is Ultrasound used?

Most people hear the word “ultrasound” and immediately think of pregnancy. However, ultrasound is a valuable diagnostic tool to obtain images of different parts of the body and evaluate for abnormalities. It is especially useful for the internal organs and vasculature of the human body in addition to pregnancies. Ultrasound does not use any radiation like conventional radiology; therefore it is safe for unborn fetuses.

What type of ultrasound equipment does Women’s Health Group use?

Women’s Health Group has two state-of-the-art Medison Sonoace R7 ultrasound machines with 3D/4D and CD/DVD capabilities. 4D adds the fourth dimension of time, which enables you to see your baby moving in the 3D mode but in real-time imaging. 4D is always exciting for our patients and their families. Our equipment is fully digital and has exceeded our expectations in the quality and accuracy of our scans. Each ultrasound room is equipped with a large flat screen television so that the patients and their families can also view the sonogram while it is being performed.

Who will perform my ultrasound?

Women’s Health Group has two highly trained Ultrasound Technologists with over 30 years experience. They are both nationally certified by the ARDMS. Debbie Paulk is registered in Abdomen & OB/GYN by the ARDMS and working on her certification in Nuchal Translucency by the Fetal Medicine Foundation. Tammy Ramsey is registered in OB/GYN by the ARDMS and is certified in Nuchal Translucency, Nasal Bone, and Ductus Venosus by the Fetal Medicine Foundation.

Who will read my ultrasounds?

All of our OB/Gyn Sonograms are read by our physicians on staff and the results are discussed with the patient on the day of the exam. This allows a direct correlation of your physical examination with your imaging and thus provides our patients with the optimal quality of care. We have a board certified Radiologist, Dr. Charles C. Ferris, who reads all of our other sonograms. The turnaround for our radiologist’s interpretations is generally within 48 hours.

How often are pregnancy sonograms performed?

Routinely, a 1st trimester ultrasound is performed to determine fetal age and number. At 13 weeks, the Nuchal Sonogram is performed to rule out Down’s syndrome and other abnormalities. At 20 weeks, the full detailed anatomical survey is performed to rule out any other abnormalities. In the 3rd trimester, usually another sonogram is done at some point for the fetal weight. More sonograms are performed if deemed necessary by the physician.

What types of ultrasounds are offered by Women’s Health Group of Southeast Georgia?

We perform all OB/GYN Sonograms, Hysterosonograms, and 3D-4D Sonograms. We are proud to offer all sonogram services under a division of Women’s Health Group called Heavenly Visions, Inc. We can perform all Abdomen, Breast, Scrotal, Carotid, Venous, and Thyroid Sonograms referred by your physician and are read by our retained radiologist.

Can family members come for the pregnancy sonograms?

We encourage you to bring your spouse and family members for the sonograms. The nuchal sonogram and anatomy sonograms are longer exams and sometimes small children may get bored, so you may want to bring an extra family member to step out to the waiting room with your child if this happens. When the sonogram examination is completed, family members may be required to return to the waiting room while the doctor talks with the patient. As a special service to our families with spouses in the armed services, we give a free CD with each sonogram so that the enlisted family member can also be part of the pregnancy experience.

What if my baby does not cooperate for the 4D sonogram?

You will be asked to return on a different day at no extra charge. We cannot refund your money, but will make an additional attempt to obtain adequate images. This will be decided at the discretion of the sonographer.

Are there any preparations necessary for the ultrasounds?

For the Abdominal Sonograms the patient should be NPO-nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before the exam until after the exam is completed. Food will interfere with imaging of the gallbladder and the pancreas. There is no preparation for any of the other sonograms unless otherwise directed by the physician. There is no need to drink caffeine before pregnancy sonograms, because an overly active baby is difficult to photograph.

Obstetrical Sonograms

1st Trimester Sonogram

The 1st Trimester Sonogram (6-10 weeks gestation) takes about 15 minutes and is used to obtain an accurate fetal age, number of fetuses and the due date. Allow extra time if you are having twins. The ovaries, cervix and placenta are also evaluated for any abnormalities. This sonogram is the most accurate sonogram possible for obtaining the due date. The accuracy for the 1st trimester sonogram is within three days. This sonogram is usually performed with a transvaginal probe for optimal visualization.

Nuchal Translucency Sonogram

The Nuchal Translucency Sonogram (11-13w6d gestation) can take up to an hour to perform depending on the fetal position. Allow extra time if you are having twins. Measurements are taken of the fluid behind the baby’s neck and of the nasal bone. A limited anatomical survey, placental location, fetal position, Doppler of the ductus venous and amniotic fluid volume are also obtained. Sometimes the gender of the baby can also be determined during this exam. Blood work is obtained at this visit and is sent to an accredited NTD lab along with the fetal measurements to determine the mother’s risk of having a baby with Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 or Trisomy 13. The final results are usually available within 7-10 days. However, the doctor will go over the ultrasound results with the patient the day of the exam. ACOG recommends that prenatal testing is offered to all pregnant women, regardless of age, and so the NT sonogram is part of our routine pregnancy protocol. This sonogram is usually performed with a transabdominal probe, but sometimes we will still have to scan with the transvaginal probe as well.

2nd Trimester Sonogram

The 2nd Trimester Sonogram (20 weeks gestation) usually takes around 30 minutes. Again, allow extra time if you are having twins. All of the fetal anatomy, measurements, fetal and placental location, heartbeat and rate, amniotic fluid volume, umbilical cord Doppler, fetal weight and gender of the baby are obtained during this sonogram. This sonogram is performed with a transabdominal probe. The 4D images start looking more realistic at this age.

3rd Trimester Sonogram

On 3rd Trimester Sonograms (28 weeks gestation to term), the baby is rather large and we have to image body parts individually. The baby is now too large for a one shot view of the entire baby. This sonogram usually takes 15-20 minutes, but allow extra time for twins. We obtain measurements, fetal position, fetal weight, placental location and maturity, heart rate, and amniotic fluid volume. This sonogram is performed with a transabdominal probe. This is the age when we recommend having the 4D sonograms because the baby now has sufficient fat and is starting to resemble what he or she will really look like at birth.

Biophysical Profile Sonograms

Biophysical Profile Sonograms (30 weeks gestation to term) are occasionally performed to check the well being of the baby. During a BPP sonogram the amniotic fluid volume is measured, the fetal tone, fetal movement, and breathing movements are observed during a 30 minute time frame. This sonogram is performed with a transabdominal probe. This test may be performed in conjunction with Non-Stress Tests.

4D Sonograms

Our physicians are pleased to offer 4D Ultrasound viewing to our patients. Our state of the art Medison Sonoace R7 ultrasound machines allow us the opportunity to provide the most recent in ultrasound technology to you. The patients have the choice of scheduling this 3rd trimester, non-diagnostic 4D ultrasound viewing. The recommended gestational age is 29 weeks. 4D provides a bonding time and a chance to view your baby before it is born. Modern technology uses sound waves and computer reconstruction to show a realistic image of your baby. 4D ultrasound adds the fourth dimension of time. This means, in addition to reconstructing images to print, you are also able to see the baby move on the screen, referred to as “real-time” imaging. The 4D viewing is not intended to take the place of a 2D diagnostic scan to document fetal growth and evaluate fetal anatomy. 2D ultrasound remains the best tool for diagnostic imaging to help ensure your baby is healthy. This sonogram is performed with a transabdominal probe. Outside OB patients will be asked to sign a release saying that they have had an anatomy scan with their OB physician. Insurance does not pay for the 4D packages. 4D ultrasound viewing sessions are not medically necessary and are non-diagnostic. Gift certificates are available for purchase.

4D Ultrasound Package

  • Live imaging performed with adequate time to obtain images (usually approximately 1 hour)
  • Several black and white prints
  • Photo images on CD
  • Live recorded imaging on DVD
  • Fetal heart rate check
  • Ensure fetal movement

Gynecological Sonograms

Gyn Sonograms

In addition to offering complete diagnostic and 4D obstetric ultrasound, the Women’s Health Group also has full gynecologic ultrasound services available. Most gynecologic ultrasounds are performed with a transvaginal probe and take around 15-30 minutes. Occasionally transabdominal imaging is done as well. On gynecological ultrasounds we routinely measure the uterus, endometrial lining, myometrial lining, and the ovaries. Routinely a 3D image is also obtained to view the uterus coronally and obtain myometrial and endometrial measurements from this plane. We also use the 3D technology to confirm intrauterine devices and Essure devices. All gynecological ultrasounds are read by our physicians and the results are discussed with you before you leave.

Hysterosonograms

The hysterosonogram will allow your doctor to evaluate the uterus for the causes of abnormal bleeding, recurrent miscarriage, infertility, and other gynecological problems. The HSG is often used as a pre-operative assessment for hysteroscopy and endometrial ablation. The HSG normally only takes 15-30 minutes and is performed in the office. The patient will know the results before leaving. The structure of the uterus is seen immediately on the ultrasound screen. A small amount of saline is injected into the uterus. The saline helps to identify any irregularities within the cavity of the uterus such as fibroids, polyps, and scar tissue. These problems can then be surgically corrected. The doctor will discuss treatment options with you upon the discovery of any abnormalities. It is important that the patient is not pregnant or suffering an active infection during the saline injection. The doctor may require the patient to be tested for pregnancy and/or infection prior to the exam. Due to cramping caused by the saline injection, the doctor may suggest an over the counter anti inflammatory be taken prior to the procedure. Cramping and spotting after the HSG are common. Infection is a slight risk which occurs in less than 1% of patients. This sonogram is performed with a transvaginal probe.

Abdominal Ultrasounds

Measurements and blood flow are documented of the pertinent abdominal organs. This sonogram is performed with a transabdominal probe and takes approximately 15-30 minutes. A report will be faxed to your referring physician by our office. Dictated reports are usually available from our radiologist within 48 hours.

Breast Ultrasounds

This sonogram usually takes about 10 minutes and is performed using a small parts probe. We look only in the area of concern – example, lump, redness, or pain. A report will be faxed to your referring physician by our office. Dictated reports are usually available from our radiologist within 48 hours.

Thyroid Ultrasounds

This sonogram usually takes about 15-30 minutes and is performed using a small parts probe. We look at both right and left sides of the thyroid and the isthmus and obtain measurements and document blood flow. A report will be faxed to your referring physician by our office. Dictated reports are usually available from our radiologist within 48 hours.

Duplex Cartoid Ultrasounds

This sonogram takes about 30-40 minutes and is performed using a small parts probe. We look at both right and left carotid arteries, internal carotid arteries, external carotid arteries and vertebral arteries. We obtain black and white images, color images, and Doppler measurements and ratios. A report will be faxed to your referring physician by our office. Dictated reports are usually available from our radiologist within 48 hours.

Duplex Venous Ultrasounds

This sonogram takes about 30-40 minutes and is performed using a small parts probe. We obtain black and white and color images and Doppler of affected extremity. A report will be faxed to your referring physician by our office. Dictated reports are usually available from our radiologist within 48 hours.

Scrotal Ultrasounds

This sonogram takes about 30 minutes and is performed using a small parts probe. We obtain black and white images and document blood flow. A report will be faxed to your referring physician by our office. Dictated reports are usually available from our radiologist within 48 hours.