Obstetric UltrasoundsSound Health Imaging only employs registered sonographers.

Ultrasound Timeline in Pregnancy

• In the first trimester, ultrasound exams are done to demonstrate the viability of the pregnancy and confirm a due date.
• A heartbeat can be detected at about 6 weeks menstrual age.
• The 1st trimester is the most accurate time to date the pregnancy.
• Assess the likelihood of any chromosomal abnormalities, specifically, it screens for: Down’s Syndrome, Trisomy 13 & 18. In the hands of an experienced sonographer, its detection rate of chromosomal abnormalities is 91-95%.
• This is a comprehensive ultrasound that evaluates the entire fetal anatomy, fetal size, placenta, and maternal uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
• Fetal Anatomy that is imaged in detail is the fetal: brain, face, spine, arms, legs, hands, feet, stomach, kidneys, bladder and umbilical cord.
• The exam will also focus a large portion of time on viewing the fetal heart in detail. Virtually all congenital heart defects are detected now, with the heartbeat heard and all four chambers of the heart seen. It is now also possible to see the aorta rising from the left ventricle and the pulmonary artery from the right, as well as the returning veins into the right and left aorta with its branches.
• Finally, this is the time when fetal gender is easily determined for parents who would like to know.
• Ultrasound exams at this stage of pregnancy are usually reserved for those where there is a concern. The healthcare provider questions the growth or well-being of the baby, or the development of a condition in the mother, such as gestational diabetes or elevated blood pressure.
• The best time in the pregnancy for 3D/4D imaging is between 26 and 30 weeks gestational age. At this time there is plenty of amniotic fluid around the baby. Fluid enhances the images and adequate amniotic fluid around the baby is essential for good 3D/4D imaging. As the baby gets closer to term the amniotic fluid naturally decreases, making it more difficult to get good 3D/4D images. Also, 26-30 weeks is a good time for the 3D/4D because the baby has started to “fill out” and take on some of the features it will have at birth. Before 26-30 weeks gestational age the baby looks more skeleton-like.
• There are a number of factors that affect the quality of the 3D/4D images. Ideally, the baby is positioned away from the placenta and uterine wall. If the fetal hands, feet or umbilical cord are in front of the face it will result in less than ideal images.
• In order to have a 3D/4D ultrasound at Sound Health Imaging you must have a referral from your medical provider. During the 3D/4D ultrasound, measurements will be taken to assess fetal growth, but an anatomical survey of the baby will not be done. We require that a previous 20-22 week ultrasound for fetal anatomical surveillance has already been done prior to the 3D/4D ultrasound. 3D/4D ultrasounds are not medically necessary and cannot be billed out to insurance companies. Therefore the cost of the 3D/4D ultrasound is $250.00 at that time of service, which includes the radiologist reading fee and report to your referring provider, as well as keepsake photos and video. Please contact our office at 406-442-6356 for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions about OB Ultrasound

• We ask 1st and 2nd Trimester patients come in with a full bladder. We recommend drinking 24 ounces, finishing 45 minutes before your appointment. You can drink any kind of clear liquid, including pop, tea, juice or water. No milk products, as they do not fill the bladder.

• No preparation is needed for patients who are in the 3rd Trimester.
We allow anyone in the exam room the mom wishes to invite.
Children are welcome if another adult is along to provide supervision. The 20-week fetal survey scan takes approximately 45-60 minutes to complete, and small children tend to get bored quickly
During the 20 week, fetal anatomy scan the sonographer is happy to tell you the gender if parents wish to know!
• Rocky Mountain Maternal Fetal Medicine
• Dr. Fausett http://communitymed.org/find-a-community-provider/providers/fausett_m_bardett
• Dr. Holbrook http://communitymed.org/find-a-community-provider/providers/holbrook-bradley
• **Great Falls patients: your Ob/Gyn physician will read specific obstetric ultrasounds.
• The Obstetric ultrasound will be read by the physician within 24 hours of your study.
• The results will be sent directly to your referring provider the week-day after your exam.
We are Preferred Providers with all major insurances and bill globally for the exam plus the radiologist reading fee so patients don’t receive a separate billing from the radiologist. We also bill secondary insurances and accept all major credit cards.
• As a patient, you have a choice where your diagnostic ultrasound is performed.
• A physician’s order is required for the obstetric ultrasound.
• When you see your healthcare provider, let them know you would like to have your ultrasound scheduled at Sound Health Imaging. Or, after you see your physician, you can call our office and make your ultrasound appointment and then bring your doctor’s order with you at the time of exam.