Why do Doctors use Level 3 Ultrasounds in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time period in which the ultrasound examination plays a key role at various stages for many different reasons. At the onset of pregnancy, ultrasound is useful to determine the presence of a fetus, the number of fetuses as well as its location. However, as the fetus grow, the requirements also change and in the second trimester of the pregnancy, the clinicians make use of the ultrasound scan to determine the presence of fetal abnormities such as the ones seen in Down’s syndrome as well as to determine its gender. For such purposes, it is necessary to make use of high tech ultrasound scanners as well as skilled personal. It is these ultrasound scanning’s performed during pregnancy which are considered as ‘level 3’ ultrasounds in contrast to other types of ultrasound scanning’s which are considered as ‘level 1’ and ‘level 2’.

As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons for doctors to use level 3 ultrasound in pregnancy is the high degree of accuracy it generates as well as the avoidance of unnecessary investigations and anxiety which may take place when other forms of ultrasound scans are used. According to health experts, the ideal timing for level 3 ultrasound scanning is around the 20th week of gestation and in most instances, the request to perform a level 3 ultrasound scan follows the mothers’ age as among the mothers who are more than 35 years of age, the risk of developing Down’s syndrome rise exponentially.

In order to perform a level 3 ultrasound scan, experienced sonographers require modern equipment which are costly as well as produce high definition, 3D imaging. Such machines are capable of visualizing the exact features including the facial features of a fetus and therefore allow the sonographers to detect any abnormalities without having to wait until the baby is born. At the same time, gender detection through level 3 ultrasound scanning is said to be more accurate than the predictions that are made through other types of ultrasound scanning.

However, level 3 ultrasound itself cannot reliably diagnose a fetal abnormality in some instances and therefore it requires the results obtained through other means including through various blood tests. At times, the decision to perform a level 3 ultrasound scan will be based on the abnormal findings in some of the other tests such as fetal alpha feto protein levels.

Furthermore, the debate between whether level 3 ultrasound scanning should be the gold standard for all pregnant mothers or not still continues while experts from both obstetric practice and radiology are also grappled with the questions, “who should perform level 3 ultrasound scanning” or else “what are the expected findings of a level 3 ultrasound scanning when compared with level 1 or 2 scans performed by expert sonographers.”

In any event, it is clear that, level 3 ultrasound scanning do provide the clinicians with better information related to a particular pregnancy and it provides them with the ability to predict the outcome and make necessary arrangements to deal with such situations before something bad actually take place.