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#1 TickledPink

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:07 AM

THE NT SCAN

WHAT IS THE NUCHAL TRANSLUCENC Y ?
All developing babies have a layer of fluid on the back of their bodies between the skin and the underlying soft tissue. This layer is translucent on ultrasound and its thickness is measured at the level of the neck. This measurement is called the Nuchal Translucency. All women have a risk of delivering a baby with a chromosomal abnormality. For Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), the most common of the chromosomal defects, this risk is increased with maternal age. This condition has always been difficult to detect before birth. Research of greater than 100,000 instances of 11 to 14 week pregnancies has shown that there is an association of increased risk of chromosomal abnormalities or heart defects with increased thickness of the nuchal translucency.

WHAT IS NUCHAL TRANSLUCENCY ASSESSMENT ?
This is an examination offered to pregnant women to assess major chromosomal congenital anomalies. The test suggests which pregnancies are at higher risk of abnormality and may need further investigation. A normal result does not guarantee a normal baby but does imply that an abnormality is unlikely. An abnormal result does not mean the baby is abnormal but suggests the baby should be further investigated. This test is a measurement performed during an ultrasound examination between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. It is painless and carries no risk to the pregnancy. In a large majority of patients the ultrasound is performed with the probe on the abdomen but in a small percentage a scan performed through the vagina may be required.

WHAT ELSE CAN THE 11 - 14 WEEK SCAN ASSESS ?
At this early ultrasound we can:- • confirm that you are pregnant and determine the age of the pregnancy • diagnose multiple pregnancies • examine the baby for some major defects. A further ultrasound at 18 to 20 weeks is recommended as this is the best time to detect the majority of structural defects.

ADDITIONAL RISK ASSESSMENT AVAILABLE
The ultrasound examination can now be performed in combination with a blood test. This blood test is called Free Beta HCG and PAPP-A quantification. The ultrasound alone detects approximately 80% of abnormalities. With the addition of the blood test this can be increased to 85%. The blood test is best performed at approximately 10weeks with the ultrasound at 12 weeks.

SHOULD I HAVE THIS TEST PERFORMED ?
This is a question each parent must answer for themselves. The main reason for performing screening tests such as this is to detect abnormalities. This allows consideration of further invasive testing or possible termination of pregnancy if an abnormality is proven. The patients most likely to benefit from this test are older women who are pregnant (as older women have a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities), women who have had an abnormal pregnancy previously and women with a family history of abnormal pregnancies.

WHO WILL PERFORM THE SCAN ?
An accredited Sonographer or Radiologist will perform the scan. They will have passed exams specifically for Nuchal Translucency assessment.. After combining Nuchal Translucency (NT) measurement with your age (and blood tests if available) and utilising a specially designed computer program, we can calculate your risk of having a baby with a chromosomal abnormality for this pregnancy. This risk will be expressed as "1 in…". A low risk is expressed as 1 in more than 300. A high risk is expressed as 1 in less than 300.

WHEN WILL I GET THE RESULTS ?
The results will be available shortly after the examination is complete. You may wait for your results but our staff can arrange delivery of the scan and report to your referring doctor.

WHAT IF I AM SHOWN TO BE AT HIGH RISK ?
If the NT examination determines your baby is at an increased risk of a chromosomal abnormality you should discuss this result with your referring doctor. This does not mean the baby is abnormal but indicates further tests may be needed. Most high risk pregnancies will be normal. Your doctor will be able to provide advice about further testing, such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis, to assess chromosomal abnormalities.

IS THERE A MEDICARE REBATE ?
Please discuss your eligibility for a Medicare rebate with your referring doctor prior to making an appointment. You will be eligible for a Medicare rebate if there are medical indications which warrant the scan at this stage of the pregnancy, for example fetal anomaly, uncertain dates or viability. If there are no indications for the scan, other than for Nuchal Translucency you will not be eligible for a Medicare rebate.

MAKING YOUR APPOINTMENT
Because of the small time frame in which an accurate measurement can be taken (after 11 weeks but before 14 weeks) it is essential that you make an appointment as soon as your referring doctor requests the assessment be done. If you are to have the blood tests as well, they should be performed even earlier, at 10 weeks if possible. Your doctor should ask for a copy of the results to be sent to wherever you are having your Nuchal Translucency assessment.
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#2 TickledPink

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Posted 25 August 2005 - 11:09 AM

18-20 WEEK OBSTETRIC SCAN

This scan is usually performed between 18 to 20 weeks gestation to assess the development of your baby and to exclude any obvious problems with the pregnancy. At this stage, most of the organs and structures in the baby have formed and are able to be seen with ultrasound. During the examination the sonographer (a technologist specially trained in ultrasound) will assess the baby, measuring the circumference and diameter of the head, the circumference of the abdomen and the length of the femur (the bone in the thigh). The sonographer will then look at the major structures in the baby, particularly the brain, heart, spine, kidneys and bladder. Unfortunately sometimes the baby will not be lying in the best possible position or the baby may still be a little too young (less than 18 weeks), and in these cases it may be necessary for you to come back another day.

I S U LT R A S O U N D S A F E ?
Ultrasound has not been shown to have any harmful effects on the baby or you. In the last 30 years more than 50 million pregnant women have had diagnostic ultrasound. In these pregnancies, epidemiological studies have shown no increase in fetal abnormalities or childhood malignancy. Similarly no behavioural or neurological consequences have been attributable to ultrasound.

C A N I F I N D O U T T H E S E X O F T H E B A B Y ?
The sonographer’s ability to determine the sex of the baby will depend upon the age of the baby and whether the baby is positioned in a way that allows for a good image of the organs. If there is good visualisation and it is requested by both parents, the sonographer or doctor will notify you of the likely sex of the baby.

I F I H AV E TO C O M E B A C K F O R A F U RT H E R S C A N , I S T H E R E S O M E T H I N G WRONG?
No, not necessarily. Frequently the baby is lying in an awkward position and some aspects of the anatomy cannot be seen. Other times we just need to assess the progress of certain structures with further growth.

I F T H E S C A N I S R E P O RT E D A S N O R M A L , D O E S T H AT TO TA L LY E X C L U D E A N Y P R O B L E M S WITH TH E B A B Y ?
With advances in ultrasound we can now see most structures very clearly. There are however some things we cannot see. No matter how detailed the scan we cannot see everything. Most significant abnormalities ARE detected. Only 60% of Down Syndrome babies are detected on ultrasound alone at 18 weeks, even in the most experienced hands. If this is of particular concern to you, there are blood tests and more invasive procedures such as amniocentesis available, which your obstetrician can discuss with you. Overall, most parents feel the 18 to 20 week detailed ultrasound scan is an exciting and rewarding experience, and have great delight in seeing their baby on the screen. Dads particularly enjoy this experience, and sometimes we even see the baby wave hello on the screen!

#3 Nat_H

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Posted 24 November 2005 - 09:08 PM

Thanks for that info.

Found the bit about when to have the blood tests for the NT scan interesting. When I had my scan with Marcus I think I had it a week or so earlier than the actual scan. This time though, I'm going to a different radiology place and they want the blood test done either anywhere from 3 days before, the same day or 3 days after the scan.
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#4 foxwing

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 08:50 PM

thanks for the info tickled pink.

i chose not to have an NT scan - i thought the process cld lead to unnecessary anxiety and i just want to enjoy my preganncy.

here is a link to an article that i found interesting

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#5 atua

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Posted 02 January 2006 - 02:35 PM

and for all the twin mummies with ID twins (or fraternals with a fused placenta)

option for 12 week NT scan as per singleton

18 - 20 week morph scan as per singleton (be prepared as this takes a lot longer than a single - as an example ours took nearly 3hrs as we had 2 techs that had to dble check the other ones measurements)

f/nightly serial scans commence at 28 weeks until 38 weeks to monitor for TTTS

the serial u/s should be done through the hospital - be warned though, i have been told medicare do not cover these (Even though they are ordered by an OB) and you are entitled to ONE medicare rebateable scan between 18 and 22 weeks (unless ordered by OB then you get another one if you need it)

TTTS scans may start earlier if there is a discrepenancy in size from earlier u/s to be sure everything is ok.

that's about it for ID twins

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#6 amanda09

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Posted 04 January 2006 - 02:17 PM

The scan info you have all provided is very interesting. I am a first time mum and on a very big learning curve with my Hubby at the moment. This is going to be one big ride ! Anyway what are the approx costs for the scans you have mentioned ? Cheers.

#7 rachelleclarke

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE (amandae @ Jan 4 2006, 02:17 PM)
what are the approx costs for the scans you have mentioned ?

I know that I had to pay $210 for a morph scan at 20 weeks and got a total of $80 back from medicare, this was before we hit the safety net for the year. If I had just had a NT scan at that time it wouldn't have cost me anything. I also sisn't have to pay when I had a scan done at 8 weeks as my Dr wanted a "dating scan" to check the EDD.
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#8 kali

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:21 AM

Hey I found this website to be quite comprehensiveob us info
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#9 cherie-rose

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:09 PM

Thanks for that, I received a referal from my GP to get an NT ultrasound and as first time parents we were wondering what it entailed!
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#10 atua

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 11:47 AM

just an update on the multiple scans....

medicare do cover these u/s - you probably have to pay upfront (we did) then you get a rebate from medicare - just be sure they place the correct item nbr on the receipt or no refund.

also i was told they have to be issued by an Ob so your hospital will be able to issue requests for you.
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#11 LBG

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 06:41 PM

Can anyone tell me about how much combined 12 week scan is these days please?

Thanks! smile.gif

#12 *****030812

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 10:20 AM

QUOTE(LBG @ Jul 29 2008, 06:41 PM) View Post
Can anyone tell me about how much combined 12 week scan is these days please?

Thanks! smile.gif


I think it depends where you go ?

My scans didn't cost me a cent, as I was referred by my GP to a maternity hospital to have mine done.


#13 bixter76

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Posted 03 August 2008 - 11:13 AM

mine is costing $165 and apparently I get no rebate.
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#14 Woodland

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:37 PM

I just booked my 12 week NT scan and was told it will cost me $190. I don't believe I will be entitled to a rebate as I have no medical reason for the scan, it was just my preference to have it done. Really I just wanted to see the baby!!!
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#15 MrsJo

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Posted 22 September 2008 - 03:49 PM

For those in Hobart, I just had my NT scan a couple of weeks ago and it cost me $80 at Women's Imaging. No Medicare rebate.

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