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Having a baby is really exciting, but there are a lot of things that have to develop so that your child will be healthy and strong. That is why your doctor will look for these 3 important things during your 20 week ultrasound to determine if your baby is at risk for certain problems.
First, your doctor will start by looking for cysts on the brain. Cysts are quite common, but it is more common to get one than two at a time. When there is more than one cyst, this will prompt the doctor to look for other symptoms that could indicate a chromosomal problem.
For example, cysts can indicate that the 18th chromosome has duplicated, which will cause some physical and mental problems. Often, the ears are set lower, the hands are balled up more, and the feet can even be similar to club feet.
If the doctor does not see any of these symptoms, then the doctor may not worry about the cysts. You can often get another ultrasound 4 weeks later to see if they have gone away, which is what commonly happens.
Note that if the doctor is concerned about a chromosomal issue, he or she can send you to a fetal medicine clinic where a specialized doctor can do another ultrasound and determine if your child has a problem.
2. Thick Skin
Another thing your doctor will look for is unusually thick skin on the back of the skull and neck. Thick skin can indicate that Down syndrome is a possibility, and you may need to do blood work and further tests.
The doctor can freeze a picture of your baby in the ultrasound, and then he or she can measure the skin with a computer tool. Note that even if the skin is a little thick, this does not mean that your child has Down syndrome, which is why further testing can be done so that you can know the real answer.
3. Cleft Palate
Lastly, your doctor will look for a cleft palate. If your child has a cleft palate, then he or she will need surgery soon after being born so that the problem can be fixed.
One of the reasons that your doctor will look for this problem is so that you can have your baby at the right hospital where special treatment can be given to the palate following delivery. With modern medicine, a cleft palate can be fixed and will almost look as if it never occurred.
These are important things that your doctor should look for when you get your 20 week ultrasound, so be aware and ask questions if your doctor does not give you any information about these possible problems. To learn more, contact a company like Central Iowa OB/Gyn Specialists, PLC with any questions or concerns you have.