3d & 4d Ultrasound scanning
What is 3d ultrasound?
A three-dimensional ultrasound is an image created by processing multiple 2-dimensional images in order to get depth to the picture.
It uses simple, safe ultrasound waves, which are then processed by high powered computer technology.
Then, the images are displayed on a large screen for you to appreciate.
What is 4d ultrasound?
4d Ultrasound takes multiple 2-dimensional ultrasound images, creates a 3-dimensional image and then does this repeatedly so that, over time, you can see the movements of the fetus in three dimensions.
The fourth dimension is time.
So you can see live movements of your baby in-utero, like a video.
What are the benefits of 3d?
Three-dimensional imaging provides several important benefits over 2d imaging, but it does not replace 2d ultrasound.
Surface rendering with 3d provides beautiful images of the surface of the face, tummy or spine.
It can show up problems like a cleft lip, an abdominal hernia or a spina bifida with amazing clarity.
Therefore, the parents can recognise what the doctor is worried about.
The surgeons also appreciate the better view and find it easier to advise the parents about the likely outcome for the baby.
Why do 2d first?
This 36 week bub was grabbing its toes!
While we are happy to do 3d and 4d scanning for you, we believe that it is also important that we find out if there are any problems with the baby first.
Therefore, all of our sonographers are fully qualified in ultrasound, with special skills and training in obstetric ultrasound.
We always do a comprehensive assessment of the baby’s growth and well being at the same examination.
What are the benefits of 4d?
Four-dimensional imaging enables us to watch fetal behaviour, and see the movements or lack of movements at fetal joints.
This will have benefits when trying to classify joint and skeletal problems like club foot.
Of course four-dimensional imaging also allows us to gaze at the baby’s face and see fetal swallowing, fetal breathing and different facial expressions.
Is it safe?
Yes. 3d and 4d ultrasound use sound waves, just like ordinary 2d ultrasound.
Numerous studies over several decades, have shown that there is no detrimental effect on the baby from ultrasound.
Will the baby feel it?
Not to our knowledge. Just as adults cannot feel ultrasound waves, or sound waves, it is unlikely that the baby can feel it.
Will I get to see the baby’s face?
We usually manage to get gorgeous baby photos.
However, the picture is affected a lot by the position of the baby.
If it is head down and facing your spine, we only get to see its back. Sometimes it takes persistence and patience to see the baby when it is facing up.
The best time to get the baby in a good position is from about 24 weeks gestation to 34 weeks gestation.
Also, before the third trimester, most babies have little sub-cutaneous fat. They can look a little bony.