The Basics of 3D & 4D Ultrasound Technology
While 2D ultrasound scanning has been around for decades, new and exciting 3D ultrasound / 4D ultrasound technology has brought a whole new experience to expectant parents.
Recent advances in ultrasound imaging have led to the development of 3D ultrasound / 4D ultrasound technology. Used in conjunction with conventional 2D ultrasound scanning, a 3D – 4D ultrasound provides a higher resolution image with the added benefit of captured movement.
While using the same, safe ultrasonic waves as a 2D scan, a 3D ultrasound / 4D ultrasound interprets and renders the information differently. The computer is then able to display multiple images and layers as one to resemble a more accurate view of your unborn baby.
Here are some common questions we receive about 3D ultrasound / 4D ultrasound as taken from our Frequently Asked Questions page:
What is an elective 3D & 4D ultrasound?
We offer elective 2D, 3D & 4D prenatal ultrasounds to provide a positive bonding experience for the mother, father and family members with the unborn baby. We feel that realistic surface images provide a connection between the parents and baby that can be beneficial to the whole family. We make no claims that a 3D or 4D ultrasound as used in this examination is performed to better assess the baby for abnormalities. A routine ultrasound examination should have already been performed to assess the gestational age of the fetus and to evaluate for fetal anomalies as well as the basic components of fetal anatomy recommended for screening.
Does this take the place of an ultrasound at my doctor’s office?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Women seeking an elective prenatal 3D ultrasound / 4D ultrasound with Fetal Vision Imaging must already be receiving treatment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care and have already undergone a medical, diagnostic ultrasound ordered by their provider to confirm their due date, screen for fetal anomalies, and to look for any other pregnancy related issues.
Is it safe? Are there any risks to me, or my baby?
Extensive studies over 30 years have found that 3D ultrasound / 4D ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby. Routine scanning of all pregnancies is now normal throughout the United States. In 3D and 4D scanning, exactly the same type and intensity of ultrasound is used as with conventional 2D scanning. As such, 4D ultrasound scanning will be similar to a conventional scan in terms of exposure.
How long does a 3D and 4D ultrasound take?
Depending on the package you choose, the 4D ultrasound session will last between 15 and 30 minutes. If you have purchased the Gold or Platinum package, plan on spending an hour with us as the second half hour will be used to choose the pictures of your baby you would like to print.
How far along should I be before I have a 4D ultrasound?
If you plan on having only one 4D ultrasound examination, we would recommend having the examination performed between the 27th and 34th week of the pregnancy. At this time, the baby has well-defined facial features and still has plenty of room to move around. However, excellent images of your baby can be obtained anytime after about 25 weeks of pregnancy. Many mothers obtain more than one 4D ultrasound and have images to enjoy from their second and third trimesters. For twins, best images are obtained between the 22nd and 25th week of pregnancy.
Will I always get a beautiful picture of my baby?
Usually, but not always. Sometimes if the baby is persistently looking face down, i.e. towards your spine, it may be difficult to see the baby’s face. If this happens, a repeat scan in one hour will usually succeed because the baby has turned to a favorable position. We make no promises that the images will be similar to those you might have seen elsewhere or even from our clinic, or that we can always meet everyone’s expectations.
Every baby scans differently, depending on its gestational age, position, amount of amniotic fluid, and amount of mother’s body tissue. We promise to make every effort to obtain the best possible images of whatever parts of the baby that can be seen. Our goal is for you to have a wonderful experience with us.
What kind of ultrasound equipment do you use to perform the 4D ultrasounds?
We use the state of the art GE Voluson 730 Expert to complete all ultrasound examinations. The GE Voluson 730 Expert has been seen in GE television commercials and many printed articles from around the world. This machine is simply the best 2D, 3D and 4D ultrasound machine available.
Please note, many organizations claim to use “state-of-the-art” equipment, when in fact they use older or inferior technology. Only the GE Voluson 730 Expert generates 3D images with amazing clarity and gives you the same clarity with 4D imagery of your baby in motion. Our sonogram equipment allows you to see your baby in live motion video unlike any other equipment on the market today.
If you wish to use or link to our articles, please contact our 3D / 4D ultrasound facility.