Health A to Z Last updated on 2023-05-16 23:59:08
Fetal abnormalities: Know the role of level 2 ultrasound in its early detection
- Dr. Akhila K
- 4 Min Read
- Fact Checked
Pregnancy is a journey that requires proper medical care to ensure the healthy development of the baby. One of the most important prenatal tests is the ultrasound, a non-invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the developing fetus. A level 2 ultrasound, also known as a detailed fetal anatomy scan, is a specialized ultrasound that provides more detailed information about the baby's development. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about level 2 ultrasound.
Read: Ultrasound sonography price and centers in Bangalore 
What is a level 2 ultrasound?
A level 2 ultrasound is a specialized medical imaging test that offers a comprehensive evaluation of the fetal anatomy.
This ultrasound is usually performed during the second trimester of pregnancy, i.e., between weeks 18 and 22. Unlike a level 1 ultrasound, which is primarily used to confirm a healthy pregnancy, estimate the due date, or determine the age and location of the fetus, a level 2 ultrasound provides more detailed information about the development and well-being of the fetus. This includes a closer examination of the fetal organs, amount of amniotic fluid, brain, spine, limbs, and other structures.
Why is a level 2 ultrasound done?
A level 2 ultrasound is an important diagnostic tool that can provide valuable information to healthcare providers and expectant parents. It can help identify possible issues early on, allowing for prompt treatment and management, and can provide reassurance to parents that their baby is developing normally.
What does a level 2 ultrasound look at?
A level 2 ultrasound looks at the baby's anatomy in detail, including:
- Fingers and toes: The ultrasound will examine the number and position of the baby's fingers and toes, checking for any abnormalities or missing digits.
- Legs and Arms: The ultrasound will check the length, position, and movement of the baby's arms and legs, ensuring that they are developing normally.
- Brain and stomach: The ultrasound will assess the baby's brain development, looking for any signs of abnormal growth or structural issues. It will also check the position and contents of the baby's stomach, like the liver, gall bladder, spleen, etc.
- Neck: The ultrasound will check the thickness of the nuchal fold, which helps determine chromosomal abnormalities.
- Facial structures: The ultrasound will assess the palate, eyes, ears, nose, and lips.
- Spine: The ultrasound will examine the baby's spine for any defects or abnormalities, such as spina bifida.
- Heart: The ultrasound will assess the baby's heart function, structure, and position, looking for any signs of congenital heart defects or abnormalities.
Read: All about 3D echo test: test preparation, procedures, and more.
- Placenta and umbilical cord: The ultrasound will evaluate the location, size, and function of the placenta and umbilical cord, ensuring that they are functioning correctly.
- Sex of the baby: If requested, the ultrasound can reveal the sex of the baby, allowing parents to plan and prepare accordingly.
The procedure provides detailed images of the baby's organs and tissues, allowing healthcare providers to detect any abnormalities.
What is the procedure for a level 2 ultrasound?
The procedure for a level 2 ultrasound is non-invasive and painless. The patient lies on her back on an exam table, and a special gel is applied to the abdomen. A probe is then used to examine the fetus.
The probe emits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the organs and tissues in the body and create images on a monitor. The sonographer moves the probe around the abdomen to obtain images of the fetus from various angles.
The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes to complete.
What to expect after the procedure?
After a level 2 ultrasound, there are usually no side effects or complications. The patient can resume her normal activities immediately after the procedure. The healthcare provider will review the results of the ultrasound with the patient and discuss any concerns or recommendations.
What are the normal values for level 2 ultrasound?
During a level 2 ultrasound, healthcare providers will measure various aspects of the baby's anatomy to determine whether it is developing normally. For example, they will measure the length of the baby's limbs and the size of the baby's head to ensure that it is in proportion to the rest of the body. They will also measure the baby's heart rate and rhythm, as well as the size and structure of the heart.
Other factors that may be taken into consideration during a level 2 ultrasound include the baby's weight, the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, and the position of the baby in the uterus. Healthcare providers will compare these measurements to standard ranges and criteria to determine whether the baby is developing normally.
In general, the normal values for a level 2 ultrasound will depend on the baby's gestational age. For example, a 20-week-old fetus should have a certain size and shape of the head, as well as certain features of the heart and other organs.
If the measurements or features fall outside of the normal range, it may indicate a potential problem with the baby's development. Healthcare providers will review the results of the ultrasound with the patient and provide recommendations based on the findings.
Things to keep in mind…
While normal test results are reassuring, keep in mind that ultrasounds are not always perfect. Therefore, if your doctor sees something that’s concerning, try not to worry. Many women with unusual ultrasounds can still go on to have healthy babies. Your doctor may prescribe further ultrasounds or other blood tests.
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We offer up to 50% off on various types of scans, including X-rays and MRIs!
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A level 2 ultrasound is a specialized ultrasound that provides more detailed information about the baby's development. This procedure is non-invasive and painless, and it can help detect fetal abnormalities early, allowing for early intervention and treatment. If you are pregnant and your healthcare provider recommends a level 2 ultrasound, it is important to follow through with the recommendation to ensure the best possible outcome for your baby.
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