What to Expect from Transabdominal Ultrasound

What to Expect from Transabdominal Ultrasound

Transabdominal ultrasounds are an essential part of prenatal care. They provide information about the fetus. They also provide information on how your uterus and other organs are functioning. Transvaginal ultrasounds use a probe inserted into the vagina to take pictures of the internal organs. Doctors can use Las Vegas ultrasounds with different types of imaging based on the requirements of a diagnostic procedure.

Here’s what you can expect from this type of scan:

Fetal development

You will see how your baby grows and develops in utero (before birth). That will help determine whether there’s any cause for concern about your baby’s health.

Fetal development assessment during a transabdominal ultrasound scan allows you and your health care team to make informed decisions about further monitoring, tests and even interventions such as induction. Your health care team may also use this information to assess your baby’s health and make decisions about their care.

Fetal anatomy and structure

The transabdominal ultrasound allows doctors to see the structure of a fetus inside your womb, including limbs, organs and body parts that are not visible on an external ultrasound, such as the placenta or amniotic fluid sacs. The transabdominal scan provides more details than external scans because it can see structures not visible on external ultrasound images, such as bones, muscles and tendons.

Maternal health

You’ll learn about any medical conditions that may affect you, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or any conditions that could affect your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. That information helps you and your doctor decide about future pregnancies or childbirth procedures like cesarean delivery.

Fetal health 

You’ll see pictures of your fetus’s heart rate and movement and its face and limbs. These images help doctors determine how well these features develop at each pregnancy stage.

Doctors can also assess the placement of the fetus during transabdominal scans. The assessment lets you see how the baby is positioned in the uterus. That helps determine whether there is any cause for concern about the health of your child.

Heartbeat quality

Your healthcare provider will check for heart defects, such as atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect (VSD). These defects can result in the early separation of the conjoined twins, called discordance, or a hole between their hearts.

Birth weight estimation

Birth weight estimation is one of the most common uses for transabdominal ultrasound scans in pregnancy and birth management. An experienced ultrasound technician can estimate fetal weight accurately with this scan alone or combined with other tests such as ultrasound Doppler imaging (USDI). Ultrasound Doppler provides more detailed information on fetal heart rate patterns throughout pregnancy or non-stress test (NST).

Amniotic fluid assessment

The doctor can assess the amount of amniotic fluid present using transabdominal ultrasound. It will help determine whether there’s any cause for concern about your baby’s health.

The transabdominal ultrasound is a popular method for checking the size and shape of the fetus. The test uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your baby and allows your healthcare provider to see how you are developing. After the scan, your doctor will give you the most accurate information about your pregnancy and your baby’s health. They can also help you prepare for delivery if necessary. Contact Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, today to learn how you can benefit from a transabdominal ultrasound. 

Paul Proulx