Scans are useful through a pregnancy to give information about the baby, the placenta and the mother. Scans at different times in the pregnancy give different information.
It may be difficult to detect abnormalities in the baby by ultrasound scans. For example, only about one third of heart defects are found on scans before the baby is born. When the scan is recorded, it may be possible to review the images later and see the defect with the knowledge of what is present. During scanning, evaluation of the scan images is often concentrated on a small portion of the image. Later review of these images may reveal problems that were not seen at the time of the scan. A “normal” scan never guarantees that no defects exist in the baby.
Dr Howland keeps selected images backed-up. Some problems not recognised at the time of the scan may be possible to be seen after the baby is born on review of these images when the exact nature of the abnormality is known. Please be aware that abnormalities are missed by all doctors who perform scans due to concentration on small portions of the scan image during examinations and less than ideal scan image quality in some patients.
The Federal Government restricts payments by Medicare to specified conditions before 18 weeks and after 22 weeks. If one of these conditions is not present, the patient will have to pay for the entire scan themselves. Referring doctors should be able to warn patients who do not have a specified condition before the scan is done.