Fetal Ultrasound in Overland Park & Shawnee Mission, KS

What Is a Fetal Ultrasound?

Ultrasound diagnostic imaging is used in a variety of medical settings, though many individuals are most familiar with this examination because of its consistent use throughout a woman’s pregnancy. This particular type of ultrasound is referred to as a fetal ultrasound.

The Basics About Fetal Ultrasounds

All ultrasounds are produced using sound waves that are delivered to a specified area of the body and then bounce back to a transmitting device that converts the length of the sound waves to create a detailed image of the patient’s internal structures. This type of technology is extremely useful in the diagnosis of many medical conditions, or in this case, to routinely check in on the development of a fetus.

Transabdominal Ultrasound

The standard type of ultrasound used during these routine visits to one of our OBGYN offices are known as a transabdominal fetal ultrasound. This means that the procedure is performed in the abdominal area.

During your transabdominal fetal ultrasound, a technician will apply a gel to the belly and begin moving a device called a transducer back and forth across the area. Images created by the sound waves bouncing back to the transducer will be visible on a screen in front of you and the technician.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

Often times if a patient is having a fetal ultrasound performed during the early stages of her pregnancy, a transvaginal ultrasound will be used. This type of fetal ultrasound requires a probe to be inserted through the vagina, which helps to create clearer, more detailed images of the baby.

3D and 4D Fetal Ultrasounds

Most fetal ultrasound imaging tests will only produce a static 2D image for patients to view. However, recent technologies have allowed for more defined images to be created that can give a 3D, or even a 4D rendering of the developing fetus.

3D ultrasound images allow your obstetrician to assess the height, length, and width of the baby, while also showing them more detailed images of the patient’s reproductive system as well. A 4D ultrasound has these same capabilities, but also has the added benefit of producing a moving video of the fetus.

Other Fetal Exams Performed in Overland Park, KS

There are a number of other techniques and tests that can evaluate more specific aspects of a growing baby’s health, including the analysis of their blood flow, heart function, facial structure, and more. Such tests are typically only conducted if your obstetrician suspects there may be a problem during your baby’s development, and so they are not implemented for every patient. These additional ultrasound imaging tests include:

  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Specialized sonographic evaluation

The Purpose of a Fetal Ultrasound

Generally, when a woman reaches the 18th week of her pregnancy it will be time to conduct an ultrasound. As mentioned, this diagnostic procedure is used to assess the ongoing growth and development of the fetus. More specifically, fetal ultrasounds are used to:

  • Confirm a pregnancy
  • Determine the number of babies in the womb
  • Monitor amniotic fluid levels
  • Study the condition of the placenta
  • Determine the baby’s gender
  • See where the fetus is located and how it is positioned
  • Investigate potential birth defects
  • Evaluate how quickly the fetus is growing
  • Diagnose possible complications with the pregnancy

Not all of these evaluations will be available during the first few weeks of a woman’s pregnancy. This is why patients are expected to return to Women’s Care OBGYN every few weeks to complete another ultrasound and to address any changes in fetal development.

To schedule your first ultrasound, or to inquire about getting a more detailed ultrasound for any abnormal symptoms you have experienced, please contact our office in Shawnee Mission or Overland Park today by calling (913) 384-4990. You may also request an appointment with one of our highly skilled obstetricians by completing our online form.

Call Us At (913) 384-4990

COVID-19 Update

Women’s Care is closely following the most up-to-date announcements and information on the known cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Because this information is always changing, we will be monitoring all updates from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. 

If you are experiencing a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, any other COVID Coronavirus or flu symptoms, or had COVID exposure, please make sure to contact us via phone prior to your appointment. You may also contact us for any additional questions by calling our office at (913) 384-4990. We are accepting appointments, however we are currently not allowing guests with the exception of ONLY allowing ONE guest for patients’ new OB visit and ultrasound, 20 week anatomy ultrasound, and 3D ultrasound. Infants and children are not allowed into our office at this time. 

Here are a few additional resources as well: 

World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control

We appreciate your patience during this time, look forward to continuing to serve our community!

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