What Is the Primary Purpose of a Fetal Anomaly Scan?


The fetal anomaly scan refers to a detailed ultrasound scan that is carried out to take a closer look at the mother’s uterus and the baby between the 18th and 21st weeks of pregnancy. The main purpose of the scan is to identify any abnormalities in your unborn baby.

The price of the anomaly scan varies from one maternity hospital to another. It also depends on the kind of scan you opt for. It can be 3D or 2D and available in colour or black and white. You must choose what’s best for you.

A fetal scan generally takes about 30 minutes. A sonographer will apply a gel on your belly and wave a transducer over it to get your baby’s images.

What Does an Anomaly Scan Look for?

You will be informed about the price of an anomaly scan beforehand. During the scan, the sonographer looks in detail at the baby’s abdomen, kidneys, spinal cord, heart, face, brain and bones. It allows the professional to look for certain rare health conditions. Here are a list of these conditions and the percentage of the likelihood of their detection:

Anencephaly (absence of the top of the baby’s head): 98%

Chromosomal abnormalities: 95%

Spinal defects: 90%

Major kidney problems: 84%

Cleft lip: 75%

Missing or very short limbs: 60%

Major heart problems: 50%

Besides these, abdominal defects can also be detected during the scan.

Usually, the baby is found to be growing as expected. Only in some cases, something suspicious is discovered during the scan.

Areas of Focus in the Scan

The sonographer examines all the organs in your baby and measures them. Here is a table showing the body parts that are examined and the reasons for which they are checked:

Baby’s Body Parts Why They Are Checked
Shape and size of the brain and the head Brain conditions
Spine Bone alignment
Face Cleft lip
Heart Proper functioning of the valves and equal size of the ventricles and atria
Abdominal wall If it covers all the internal body parts at the front
Hands and feet Development of the toes, fingers and muscles
Kidneys Proper functioning of the urinary bladder
Amniotic fluid Whether it is in sufficient quantity to allow the baby to move freely
Placenta Position
Femur length (the circumference of the head and the abdomen) Whether it goes with the standards of normal development

What If a Problem Is Found Out?

In this case, other scans or tests are recommended to understand the issue better. This will add to the price of the anomaly scan that you had first. If an anomaly is confirmed, further tests or treatment procedures will be recommended based on its severity. Minor anomalies usually improve by themselves. If there is a major anomaly, you will get the necessary support and details about the future course of action. If the termination of pregnancy is needed, it will be carried out only with your consent.

If your unborn baby needs special care in the case of any complications, fetal medicine will be provided to your little one. So, it’s important to get admitted to a reputed maternity and children’s hospital.

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