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Anomaly Scan

Did you know that ultrasound is usually recommended by the twentieth week? Find out all you want to know about a routine anomaly scan!
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Anderson Diagnostics: Accurate Anomaly Scan in Chennai

Every expectant mother carries with her the responsibility of ensuring the health and unimpeded growth of the fetus she nurtures within her womb. The 20th week of pregnancy is a crucial phase for both the mother and the unborn child because it is the time for an anomaly scan.
What is an Anomaly Scan?

An ultrasound scan taken between the 18th and 21st week of pregnancy is an Anomaly Scan. The prime objective of this scan is to determine the healthy development of the fetus. The scan especially focuses on assessing the development of all the major organs and to rule out any major physical abnormalities. With an anomaly scan, doctors will also make other vital observations such as the location of the placenta and the sufficiency of amniotic fluid.

Anderson Diagnostics & Labs is the most reputed diagnostic centre for getting an anomaly scan in Chennai. The dated scan is a 2D or 3D black and white image that reveals the side-view of the baby in the mother’s uterus. The images will also include the fetus’ hands and legs. An anomaly scan will be assessed by the radiologist who will give a detailed diagnostic report of the findings.

A doctor checks a patient's anamoly scan

Abnormalities Revealed in an Anomaly Scan

A 20th-week anomaly scan is primarily done to look for any abnormalities in the developing fetus.
The ultrasound scan can pick up major physical anomalies such as:
  • vector image of baby having hole or rift in the diaphragm
    A hole or rift in the diaphragm
    vector image of Kidneys
    A hole or rift in the diaphragm
    vector image of hole or rift in the diaphragm
    A hole or rift in the diaphragm
    baby image of hole or rift in the diaphragm
    A hole or rift in the diaphragm
  • vector image of Defects in the abdominal wall
    Defects in the abdominal wall such as Exomphalos and Gastroschisis
    vector image of baby having fluid in the brain
    Accumulation of fluid in the brain
    vector image of Espina Bifida
    Spina Bifida or defects of the spinal cord
    Anencephaly or absence of the top of the skull
  • vector image of cleft palate
    Cleft palate
    Baby having underdeveloped limbs
    Lethal Dysplasia or missing or underdeveloped limbs
It is important to note that most of the above are very rare conditions. Some of them may not be detected until the later stages of the pregnancy. A very small percentage of the fetuses stand the risk of developing such complications, while a vast majority of them are born healthy and sound. Additionally, an anomaly scan does not give a 100% guarantee of detecting the congenital defects.

Standard Procedure for an Anomaly Scan in Chennai

An ultrasound anomaly scan is a non-invasive, painless procedure, which lasts about thirty minutes. The patient is sometimes asked to come for the appointment with a full bladder. This will allow the sonographer to take clearer images of the fetus.

The patient is asked to lie on a couch and uncover the abdomen area. The sonographer applies a generous amount of gel on the exposed abdomen.

The gel facilitates proper contact between the abdomen and the handheld probe that the sonographer passes over the abdomen.

As the probe moves over the abdomen, black and white images of the fetus can be seen on the ultrasound screen.

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Doctor checking the anamoly scan of a patient
Anamoly scan of a baby

Important Observations That Are Made in an Anomaly Scan

Apart from investigating the probability of any abnormalities, a radiologist depends on an anomaly scan to assess all the clinical parameters of growth. The list includes:
  • Shape and structure of the skull and brain of the fetus.
  • Length and cross-section of the spine.
  • The development of the abdominal wall.
  • Development of the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid.
  • The development of the fetus’ heart and stomach and kidneys.
  • The location of the placenta.
  • Measurement of the head circumference (HC), and abdominal circumference (AC).
  • Length of the femur or thigh-bone.
As a rule of thumb, all the measurements should align with standard parameters that match the developmental stage of the fetus.

What Happens When the Anomaly Scan Reveals an Abnormality?

When an anomaly scan throws light on a life-threatening abnormality in the fetus’ development it calls for further action by the radiologist and the patient’s obstetrician. The individual will be asked to take another scan to reconfirm the abnormality and to assess its impending threat. From there on, the obstetrician will decide on the further course of action, depending on the seriousness of the abnormality.

If it is a life-threatening one, the family is given ample support, information and guidance regarding other medical options. The decision to terminate the pregnancy for the welfare of the mother and child might be suggested, but the family’s choice is always respected.

In case the scan reveals the fetus has a congenital heart problem, the radiologist will recommend a fetal echo scan for an in-depth analysis of the heart. An anomaly scan will also be repeated if the fetal position is not convenient or if the patient is overweight. An anomaly scan in Chennai cannot be used to reveal the sex of the fetus.

A doctor explains an anamoly scan to a patient

Get Accurate And Affordable Anomaly Scans

Anderson Diagnostics & Labs in Chennai is a highly professional, well-equipped diagnostic centre that functions under the guidance of reputed radiologists.


1. Is an anomaly scan harmful to the mother or the child?

An anomaly scan is a fairly safe procedure and is not known to pose a risk to the mother and the fetus. But deciding whether to have the scan or not is a decision that is left to the family’ choice. Most doctors recommend a scan as a precautionary measure that will later help in making well-informed decisions.

2. Are anomaly scans foolproof?

Anomaly scans are not a hundred percent foolproof. The scan taken at 20 weeks may sometimes not reveal an underlying issue. But it may throw light on the issue when it is redone after a few weeks. Besides, there is always a narrow chance of babies being born with a congenital issue that has gone undetected.

3. When will further tests be necessary?

If the anomaly scan reveals even the slightest possibility of abnormal development, the radiologist will recommend another scan or a series of other tests. These tests will help in assessing the seriousness of the problem and deciding the further course of action. Doctors often seek a second opinion or refer the patient to a specialist who will assess the scan result.

4. When is the best time of the day for an anomaly scan?

You can have an anomaly scan as per your scheduled appointment time. But the best time is to get it done before 2 pm. Fasting is not required. The anomaly scan centre assistants may sometimes ask the patient to come with a full bladder.

5. Can the person be accompanied by a family member or friend?

Certainly! It is always reassuring to have someone accompany the mother-to-be, especially if it is her first anomaly scan.
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