Most pregnancy ultrasounds are performed in 2D – this produces the characteristic black, white and grey images which most people are familiar with. Increasingly, women are also being offered 3D / 4D scans during their pregnancies. At SHORE for WOMEN, we use the latest ultrasound technology from GE and are experienced in performing 3D and 4D imaging.
To obtain a 3D image, the same structure is examined on ultrasound from 3 different angles. The computer then combines these static images to produce a 3-dimensional view. With 4D scanning, the 3D view of the baby is obtained in real time (the 4th dimension is time), so that couples can see their baby moving in 3D.
The main purpose behind 3D/4D scanning is to allow couples to view their baby (usually the face) in a more realistic way. In addition, depending on the fetal position, nice keepsake images of the baby can be obtained for posterity. In general terms, 3D/4D scanning is not helpful for detecting structural fetal abnormalities. Although in rare cases, it may be helpful to obtain 3D images of a known fetal abnormality, most fetal morphology scans are still best undertaken in 2D.
At SHORE for WOMEN, we do not endorse the performing of 3D/4D scans for entertainment purposes only. Ultrasound is a specialised test and should only be undertaken by a fetal medicine specialist or sonographer trained in the detection of fetal abnormalities.