Ultrasound during pregnancy

For more than thirty years in modern obstetrics, ultrasound examination has been used. To confirm its safety, quite a lot of large-scale studies were carried out, which clearly proved that this method of examining the fetus is absolutely harmless for both the unborn child and the mother.

Moreover, the method is completely harmless even with its frequent use. But this research gives a lot of advantages, especially when using the latest innovations, which we will talk about. In fact, in the modern world, the only limitation on ultrasound examination of pregnant women is only a simple lack of such equipment in clinics due to lack of financial resources.

The most modern of the ultrasound methods is considered to be 3D and 4D ultrasound.

When conducting such a study, you can get such fine details on the image that cannot be obtained with the usual 2D method. During the examination, the most modern methods use sound waves, similar to the standard method, but at the same time they are directed to the object of study from different angles. The waves reflected from the object of study are processed in a special program and a three-dimensional image is displayed on the screen.

When carrying out a three-dimensional ultrasound, it is possible to obtain a very clear picture of the embryo, in which you can distinguish small details of the face, arms, legs and other parts of the small body.

What is the main difference between 3D and 4D ultrasound from conventional 2D?

When conducting a traditional study, forward-directed waves are used, the reflection of which occurs in the opposite direction, also in a straight line. That is, you can see only one layer from which the waves are reflected. You can get quite complete information about this layer, but at the same time the resulting image will not give you an idea of ​​the subject as a whole. But when conducting a three-dimensional study, waves of a similar frequency are directed to the object at different angles. As a result, the processing produces a vivid three-dimensional image. Now the doctor and patients can even distinguish the facial features of the unborn child, look at his movements, the image obtained during the study will be so clear, which also gives a picture in almost real time.

Such a study makes it quite easy to find abnormalities in the development of the embryo. Expectant parents will be shown all parts of the body and checked for possible deviations from developmental norms. Such things are not possible when doing research in the traditional way.

The main disadvantage of the three-dimensional examination method is that with an insufficient amount of amniotic fluid, with an incorrect position of the embryo, or if the area in question is covered by other tissues, viewing can be difficult.

Conventional 3D ultrasound produces a static image, while 4D produces an image that will be constantly updated, which gives the impression of movement. As a result, you can even observe the movements of the fetus on the monitor screen.

4D ultrasound

Thus, in the term 4D ultrasound, the fourth dimension is time. The term was coined by the developers of new devices in order to explain to ordinary users, people far from medicine and special equipment, that with the help of this research method it is possible to obtain a picture of the object under study in three-dimensional mode in almost real time. With the help of this most modern ultrasound method, you can not only look at how the fetus is developing, but also conduct a study of its heart. Some structures are generally impossible to study well in two-dimensional mode, but in three-dimensional everything previously inaccessible becomes real. Three-dimensional diagnostics are especially valuable if there are suspicions of the presence of embryonic malformations.

It is very important that when carrying out such an examination, despite the fact that the picture is obtained with a much higher quality of the signal frequency with which the scanning is performed, and the power and intensity of the radiation remains at the same level as in two-dimensional ultrasound.

A three-dimensional image during modern ultrasound can be obtained already at a time when the embryo is only about 15 millimeters long. And this means that already at the eighth week of pregnancy, it is quite possible to distinguish between the body, the head and the limbs that are beginning to form.

In the period from 10 to 16 weeks of pregnancy, the baby can be seen in its entirety. You can see his pose, legs and arms, but small details during this period of pregnancy are not yet visible. Therefore, it is believed that the most optimal three-dimensional ultrasound scan in the period from 12 to 32 weeks of pregnancy.

During this period, it is already quite realistic to consider even the facial expressions of a baby in the mother’s womb, and from the 18th week it is possible to determine the sex of the unborn child.

Well, the expectant mother can get images of the future baby as a keepsake. Such an image will be very similar to an ordinary photo, and if desired, it is even possible to record the movements of the baby in the mother’s belly in real time. And at the same time it will be able to get rid of fears that the unborn child may lack something. When carrying out an ultrasound scan in the accepted time frame, you can even count all the fingers and toes, since modern research methods allow you to do this.

It should be noted that an important fact is that such an ultrasound scan is used not only for the purpose of examining the fetus during pregnancy.

3D ultrasound is widely used for the following medical indications:

In gynecology, it allows you to determine the state of cystic formations of the ovaries and ovarian cysts;
in traumatology, it is possible to clarify the degree of injury to the knee joint meniscus;
in surgery, it allows to clarify the anatomical position of the tumor in relation to the vascular blood bundle;
In endocrinology, it allows you to determine the structure of masses and the volume of surgery;
In urology, the condition of the prostate gland can be determined;
In ophthalmology, to assess the state of the eyeball, retina, the degree of damage when the eye is injured.

At the same time, the traditional two-dimensional ultrasound method cannot be completely discounted, since the combination of these methods gives the most complete picture and allows you to get the most reliable results of the study.

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