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Down syndrome screening
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Down syndrome screening

Hi Doctor,

Wanted to make sure that the NT scan for downs syndrome is safe?

I have my appointment on Monday and have seen a few people post concerns over the safety of ultrasounds and Doppler use.

I had an Us at 7 weeks ( viability) 9 weeks ( follow up) and 11 weeks (handheld Doppler did not work) as well as pulsed Doppler to get the heart beat on ultrasound scan.

Now I have this next ultrasound to look at the neck of the baby.   I just want to make sure all these ultrasounds, especially the Doppler is safe to use.?  I know they don't recommend the Doppler before 10 weeks.

What are your thoughts?

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Hi!
We have enough data now to know defintively that ultrasound is safe.  One thing to note is that during an ultrasound, a pulse is sent through the tissue and then the ultrasound "listens" to the waves that return.  Ninety-nine percent of the time the ultrasound is "listening" and only 1% of the time is it transmitting sound waves.

The neural tube screening is one of the best innovations that I have seen in my years as an OB/gyn.  It can be really reassuring if normal, and therefore really reduce the number of amniocenteses that need to be done.  It is a VERY reliable test.

Personally, I would recommend the test to any patient of mine who had an indication for it.
The alternatives would be either less reliable/reassuring tests, OR an amniocentesis.
Even amnios are very safe, but obviously if they can be avoided that is best.

Good luck!
Dr B
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What is a neural tube screening and how is it done? I am 39 and currently in my 1st round of IVF. I am due to have my blood work in 2 days. I am just looking into the future and wondering if and how I should check for downs syndrome.
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