What Can the Anomaly Scan Detect?

The main medical focus of the 20 week scan is to check for any signs of physical abnormalities. The ultrasound pictures are much clearer and more detailed than they were at the 12 week scan and your baby will have developed a lot. If you haven’t had an ultrasound since 12 weeks, the anomaly scan will be the first chance for your doctor or sonographer to detect these kinds of problems.

anomaly scan

Checks during your Anomaly Scan

The anomaly scan will enable your sonographer to check for the following abnormalities as well as any other problems with your baby’s growth and development.

  • Face: some palate issues such as a cleft lip can show up at the 20 week scan, although others will be missed. If your baby has a cleft lip you will be referred to a specialist to discuss treatment options such as surgical repair.
  • Head and Brain: the shape, size and structure of the head will be checked for rare developmental disorders such as anencephaly that could be very serious.
  • Heart: the way the heart, valves and major arteries are functioning will be checked carefully. If any heart defects are detected it may be possible to start treatment before or immediately after birth.
  • Spine: the 20 week scan can reveal whether the bones of the spine are aligned properly and completely covered by skin.
  • Abdominal Wall: the baby’s organs should be completely protected within the abdominal wall.
  • Kidneys: both kidneys should be working well, with urine flowing from them into the bladder.
  • Limbs: the arms, legs, hands and feet should all be clearly visible on screen at 20 weeks, so the sonographer will be able to check that they are developing properly.

What Happens Next

In most cases, the anomaly scan won’t reveal any problems with your baby’s health. If any potential issues are detected, you will be able to discuss the results with a consultant at The Birth Company. The doctor will ensure that you understand what has been detected, the risks to your baby, and any treatments or other options that are available.

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137 Harley Street, London W1G 6BF
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Regent’s Park
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Talbot Road, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9 7HR
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Alderley Edge