Second trimester anatomy scan
Prenatal ultrasound diagnosis (also called organ diagnosis) is carried out in the 21st to 23rd week of pregnancy. The aim of this examination is to exclude congenital malformations, such as a heart defect, by means of ultrasound. Approximately 70-80% of serious congenital malformations can be ruled out in the course of prenatal ultrasound diagnosis. In the vast majority of women, the results of the prenatal ultrasound diagnosis are unremarkable. A conspicuous finding can lead to questions that can only be clarified by an additional examination; for example, the question of whether the child’s chromosomes are normal, which can be answered with the help of an amniocentesis. An abnormal finding can have consequences for the delivery, for example the recommendation to deliver in a clinic with an affiliated paediatric clinic so that the child can be examined more closely after birth and further treatment can be planned. Very rarely, a change is found in the unborn child that leads to a very severe impairment after birth or that is incompatible with life. Considering the conflicted situation that arises for the couple concerned when such a diagnosis is made, psychosocial counselling is an important source of support.
If this examination shows that the child’s nourishment is limited, we organise more intensive monitoring of the pregnancy so that the child is born under optimal conditions.
Very rarely, if the placenta or umbilical cord vessels lie in front of the inner cervix, i.e. “in the way”, an attempt at normal delivery is life-threatening. This can be safely ruled out with the help of ultrasound.
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