3D/4D Technology

Ultrasounds are an essential tool to visualize the fetus in the womb. Traditional 2D ultrasound technology has been utilized for twenty-five years, most women have at least 2 ultrasounds during their pregnancy. Recent advances in imagery have resulted in the introduction of three and four-dimensional ultrasound giving obstetricians who suspect a fetal abnormality a specific surface rendering of the fetus. Dr. Keith Lescale has completed thousands of scans and has been using this innovative equipment since 2002.

Dr. Lescale explains that while informative a 2D ultrasound image does not always give an adequate view of the structure being studied. With 2D ultrasound the body is scanned using a movable probe over the surface of the mother’s abdomen. The image received is made up of thin views or “slices”. Only one slice at a time can be viewed on the screen. As with a 2D ultrasound a 3D ultrasound a probe moves over the mother’s abdomen. However with 3D ultrasound technology the computer combines multiple images and renders a life-like 3D image. The difference between 3D and 4D technology is that the computer takes multiple images as the technician holds the probe still and simultaneously renders a 3D image on the monitor. Four dimensional ultrasound technology allows for live real-time imagery.
Physicians refer patients to Dr. Lescale for 3D/4D ultrasound to detect fetal abnormalities and structural problems, such as cleft lips, spinal, and cardiac deformities. By utilizing 3D/4D technology Dr. Lescale can also determine fetal age, analyze fetal development, evaluate multiple or high-risk pregnancies, and diagnose ectopic pregnancies. The scans are immediately evaluated and reports are sent to the referring doctor. In most cases the referring doctor has the report within minutes after the patient's exam.

According to Dr. Lescale there are a few limitations to sufficient visualization of fetal anatomy with 3D/4D technology. There will be difficulty visualizing structures or the baby's face if there is inadequate amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus, or if the fetus has its face in the posterior position in the uterus. The 3D/4D technology is paid for by most major insurances when medically indicated.


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