The anomaly scan checks that the important structures in the baby have developed. It looks at the way the baby's anatomy has developed from head to toe. Important structures such as the brain, face, spine, heart, stomach, bowel, kidneys, bladder and limbs are assessed. It also looks at the growth of the baby, the amniotic fluid around the baby and where the afterbirth (placenta) is lying. The anomaly or anatomy scan is performed at 18 to 20+ 6 weeks routinely in the NHS. We recommend doing this scan a little later at the Aster Health and Bay Scan Clinic at around 22-23 weeks as the fetus is more developed at this stage. We will provide a written report and photo's which you can share with your obstetrician or midwife.
There are certain conditions that the National Screening Committee has set as a minimum standard for the anomaly scan. The anomaly scan is provided in the NHS as part of the screening scans and we would always recommend you attend your NHS appointments. Anatomy scan at our clinic provides an additional reassurance. However, a reassuring scan does not exclude all anomalies.
If an anomaly is identified we will ensure onward referral to the NHS Fetal Medicine Service. Where there are limited views due to fetal positioning or in mothers with increased BMI, the scan may need to be repeated to complete the assessment. Whilst the majority of anomalies are seen an ultrasound scan, unfortunately, not all anomalies (structural, chromosomal and genetic syndromes) are identified on the anomaly scan and may present when the baby is born. It is important that parents understand limitations of ultrasound.