19 Week Anatomy Survey
The 19 week fetal anatomy survey is the main scan during pregnancy. Timing is important – the fetus must be large enough, allowing for assessment of the fetal morphology as well as the placental location.
Assessment of the fetal head, brain, face, spine, chest, heart, stomach, abdominal wall, kidneys, bladder, diaphragm, arm, legs, hands and feet are performed. In most circumstances, if requested, the fetal sex can be determined at this time.
If a problem is detected you will be told. Sometimes it is possible to determine the extent of the problem, often further testing and referrals to other specialists (genetics, King Edward Memorial Hospital) may be required. Findings will be discussed with your doctor allowing us to make a plan.
Limitations of Anatomical Survey
The anatomy seen is used to detect a large number of fetal structural abnormalities. It is important to note, even with experienced examiners and the best ultrasound equipment there are limitations to the test. Some problems will not present until later in pregnancy whilst others show no structural changes to the fetus. The 19 week timing is chosen, however, because the fetus is large enough for parents to intervene if major problems are identified.
We request two glasses of water be drunk one hour prior to the examination. This may help with assessment or be emptied if required.