How Does a 4D Ultrasound Work?

November 12, 2012

How Does a 4D Ultrasound Work?

Ultrasounds, or sonograms, generally refer to medical tests that use sound waves with high frequencies to come up with a picture of bodily organs. When pregnant women get ultrasounds, however, they generally refer to medical tests that come up with pictures of the babies that are still in their wombs.

What is 4D ultrasound?

Well, a 4D ultrasound is simply a special kind of ultrasound that can take pictures of several different angles of a baby to show these future mothers more details about their babies, including their facial features. That aside, a 4D ultrasound also has the power to capture a baby’s movements if he or she is moving while the ultrasound is being taken. Regular ultrasounds, on the other hand, can only provide future mothers with 2D pictures of their babies. Most of the time, they are only done for reasons like evaluating the baby’s development, identifying potential abnormalities, and finding out the baby’s gestational age. Even though these regular ultrasounds can produce pictures of the baby, a doctor or trained ultrasound technician will be needed to identify the baby’s different body parts and features. Also, even though keepsake pictures are given out to future mothers after the ultrasound, the results are usually quite grainy.

Where you can do an 4D Ultrasound?

Aside from that, regular ultrasounds need to be ordered by an actual doctor and need to be done at a hospital, a clinic, an ultrasound center or a doctor’s office. Conversely, 4D ultrasounds don’t need to be ordered by an actual doctor and are usually done at an ultrasound center that only does keepsake ultrasounds. This procedure is completely non-invasive and only takes less than half an hour to complete.

How does the 4D Ultrasound work?

Basically, the woman’s abdomen will be slathered with a conductive type of gel before the ultrasound. After that, a transducer will be placed on her abdomen, which is connected to a monitor. The woman can then look at the monitor to see her baby and watch while the ultrasound is being done. Afterwards, she will get a keepsake video and photo of her baby.

Sometimes, though, if a problem is spotted in a 2D ultrasound, a 4D ultrasound might be needed as a follow-up to confirm the problem. For most pregnant women, these 4D ultrasounds don’t have any medical significance, though. They simply exist to give them a better view of their babies. The majority of ultrasound centers out there advise to take the test after 25 weeks of gestation, though, since that is the time when babies are big enough to show off clearer features.

In most cases, the energy levels used in 4D ultrasound machines are considered to be safe. However, a lot of doctors still say that they should be avoided if they aren’t medically necessary. Because of this, a lot of intense debate has popped up in recent years regarding the use of these keepsake ultrasounds.

Since 4D ultrasound machines have much better quality in terms of the pictures that they produce, doctors worry that they use up far too much energy during the procedure. No one has proven that this is true so far, though. Still, because of this, it would be highly advisable for pregnant women to ensure that their ultrasound technician has a license in the field and that their doctor has no qualms about them doing the procedure beforehand. Stay safe.


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