Fetal echocardiography is similar to ultrasound, and the exam enables your doctor to better view the structure and function of the heart of your unborn child. Echocardiography tests are familiar in the second trimester between 18 to 24 weeks.
This exam uses sound waves that bounce off the structures of the fetus’s heart. A machine analyzes the sound waves to create a picture or echocardiogram of the child’s heart’s interior. The image provides information on the formation of your baby’s heart and whether it is functioning appropriately. If you are undergoing fetal echocardiography near you, it enables your doctor to view the blood flow through the fetus’s heart. The in-depth view allows your doctor to detect any abnormalities in the blood flow or heartbeat of the baby.
Are you wondering about the reasons to have a fetal echocardiogram? First, it helps to understand not all pregnant women need this exam. Most women benefit from a regular ultrasound showing the development of the chambers of the baby’s heart. However, your doctor recommends this test if they detected abnormal heartbeat in the fetus during earlier tests.
Dr. Subhashini Subramanian recommends this test if your unborn child is at risk of any disorder or a heart abnormality. The test is also helpful if you have used alcohol or drugs during pregnancy or taken certain medications with the potential to cause heart defects like epilepsy drugs or prescription acne medications.
Fetal echo in Paramus is performed by the doctor herself, an experienced OB/GYN, to determine whether your child is at risk of any disorders. The test requires approximately 30 minutes without any downtime or preparation before the procedure except for maintaining your stomach empty for some time.
Fetal echo tests are generally performed by experienced ultrasound technicians or a specialist in ultrasonography. Cardiologists specializing in pediatric medicine review results of the electrocardiogram.
The test itself is similar to a routine pregnancy ultrasound. You may either undergo abdominal echocardiography or even transvaginal echocardiography. Abdominal echocardiography is no different from ultrasound, with the technician requesting you to lie down exposing your belly. After applying a lubricating gel on your skin, the technician uses a transducer over your skin. The transducer is moved over your body to get different images of your baby’s heart. After the procedure, you are free to go back to your regular activities.
Transvaginal echocardiography is generally used in the early stages of pregnancy and provides better images of the fetal heart. However, there are no risks involved with the echocardiogram because the use of radiation is eliminated.