The Fetal Heart Program utilizes fetal echocardiography for the diagnoses and specialized management of fetuses with congenital heart disease and/or congestive heart failure in utero. Using fetal ultrasound of the heart, defects can be detected as early as 16 to 18 weeks gestation, and in some cases, as early as 11-12 weeks gestation. This routine, painless test provides general information about the growth of your baby, and the structure and function of the baby's organs.
The test may be done using an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound.
In an abdominal ultrasound, gel is applied to the abdomen and the ultrasound transducer glides over the gel on the abdomen to create the image.
- transvaginal ultrasound
In a transvaginal ultrasound, a smaller ultrasound transducer is inserted into the vagina and rests against the back of the vagina to create an image. A transvaginal ultrasound produces a sharper image than abdominal ultrasound and is often used in early pregnancy.