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Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

The nuchal translucency ultrasound estimates the risk of your baby having Down’s syndrome. We perform this exam between 11 weeks and 13 weeks, 6 days. It requires that we take a specific measurement of the skin thickness at the back of the neck.

For more information about this and other obstetrical ultrasound exams, please read the article What's the Purpose of Obstetrical Ultrasounds?

HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?

  • Take all prescribed medications as directed.
  • You can expect to be at the clinic between 30-60 minutes, depending on your procedure(s) and barring any unforeseen delays.
  • Please empty your bladder 90 minutes prior to your appointment, and then drink one litre of water within the next 30 minutes. Finish drinking water one hour before your exam and do not empty your bladder.
  • Please note: Drink water slowly to prevent abdominal discomfort.
  • If you are too uncomfortable, please relieve your bladder of a small amount of urine.
  • Once the test has begun, your sonographer will advise you if you can empty your bladder further or totally. We understand that a full bladder can be uncomfortable.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow enough time to check in with reception.
  • Bring photo identification and your provincial health card.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?

  • You may be asked to change into a gown for certain exams.
  • A warm, non-scented, hypo-allergenic ultrasound gel will be applied to your stomach.
  • The sonographer will record the heartbeat and measure the length of your baby to correlate with your dates.
  • The length of your exam depends on how much your baby moves and it’s position. The nuchal measurement has very exacting criteria for the sonographer, so the test length will vary depend on your baby being in the correct position to obtain the measurement.
  • You may experience mild to moderate pressure while the sonographer takes the images.
  • Please advise the sonographer if you are having trouble holding your bladder at any time during the ultrasound.
  • If you need to move into a more comfortable position, please let the sonographer know.
  • Your sonographer may be concentrating on obtaining all of the necessary images, so they may show you images of your baby at the end of the exam.

WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?

We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

This exam is covered under the Alberta and Saskatchewan Health Care Plans. 

 

You can expect to be at the clinic between 30-60 minutes, depending on your procedure(s) and barring any unforeseen delays.

FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Please ensure that you bring your requisition with you to your appointment.


DURATION

30-40 minutes