Address: 27 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 8EN
Tel: 020 7101 3377

Anomaly Pregnancy Q&A

An anomaly Ultrasound Scan (also known as a mid-pregnancy or 20-week anatomy Ultrasound Scan) is a very detailed 2D Ultrasound Scan done between weeks 18 and 24. The primary purpose is to make sure your baby is developing the way it should and to screen for 11 congenital conditions: anencephaly, open spina bifida, cleft lip, diaphragmatic hernia, gastroschisis, exomphalos, severe cardiac abnormalities, bilateral renal agenesis, lethal skeletal dysplasia, Edwards' syndrome (T18), Patau's syndrome (T13). Fatal anatomy is checked in detail.
Your baby's organs are not large enough to allow for a detailed Ultrasound Scan before week eighteen. You can be scanned, but a follow-up repeat will be necessary.
Yes, you can, but as the baby grows, the alignment of the hands to arms and feet to legs cannot be assessed. If there is anything wrong with the baby's structure or any signs of chromosomal abnormalities, based on local law, the chance of an abortion decision is reduced.
Wear a comfortable 2- piece outfit (top and bottom) to easily expose your tummy for an ultrasound. You can eat as usual. You will be asked to drink at least one litre of water one hour before your appointment to ensure that you have a full bladder for the transabdominal ultrasound.
A full bladder allows the ultrasound to visualise the uterus and ovaries. It pushes the gas-filled loops of the bowel out of the way and opens a viewing window to the pelvis.
No. None of the pregnancy Ultrasound Scans is harmful to you or the baby. Ultrasounds have been used for many years to monitor pregnancies. There is no radiation used in an ultrasound scan. It does not cause any health problems for the patient or the baby.
In London Private Ultrasound clinic, it is completed within 40 minutes.
An Anomaly Ultrasound Scan is performed transabdominally. You will be asked to lie on your back with your tummy exposed. The sonographer will cover the examined area with ultrasound gel which guarantees smooth movement of the probe over the skin. An image of your baby will appear on the screen.
Yes. The clear ultrasound gel is not toxic and is safe to use during your ultrasound scan. It does not stain or otherwise ruin your clothes. It has no spermicide and can be used for fertility cases without effect on sperm and conception.

The following is examined:

  • Baby's head, brain, face, and lips
  • Baby's spine
  • Organs in the baby's abdominal cavity, such as kidneys, stomach, bladder, diaphragm, bowel, abdominal wall, umbilical cord
  • Baby's limbs (arms, hands, legs, feet)
  • Heart views
  • Placental location
At Private London Ultrasound, we offer both the Anomaly Ultrasound Scan and First Trimester Screening. We can look for Down Syndrome during an Anomaly Ultrasound Scan. However, it is only 50 % accurate. First Trimester Screening, which includes Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound Scan and blood tests, is more sensitive to detecting Down syndrome (94 % accuracy).
The results are discussed verbally after your ultrasound and then sent to your email as a report on the same day.
An Anomaly Ultrasound Scan is entirely optional. It is offered routinely as a second-trimester screening by the NHS in the UK. However, many parents opt for this Ultrasound Scan to check if their baby has any congenital conditions.
It is not 100% accurate. Some conditions are more evident than others, for example, open spina bifida (which can be detected in 9 out of 10 babies). On the other hand, conditions such as heart defects are more challenging to see (they can be detected in 5 out of 10 babies). Some abnormalities, such as diaphragmatic hernia, might show themselves much later, after 28 weeks of gestation.
No. You might feel a slight discomfort due to your bladder being full for a transabdominal ultrasound.