Fetal Echocardiogram

Pediatric Cardiologist & Adult Congenital Cardiologist Pennsylvania locations in Lancaster, Mifflinburg and Strasburg; also located in Topeka, Indiana
Fetal Echocardiogram

Fetal Echocardiogram services offered in Lancaster, Mifflinburg and Strasburg, PA and Topeka , IN

Nothing is more frightening than hearing your obstetrician suggest there may be a problem with your unborn baby’s heart. You can get the answers you need when Devyani Chowdhury, MD, MHA, and the compassionate team at Cardiology Care for Children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, perform a fetal echocardiogram. Fetal echocardiograms use safe, painless ultrasound to produce detailed images of your baby’s heart, allowing the team to diagnose problems and begin treatment as early as possible. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, call or use online booking today.

Fetal Echocardiogram Q & A

What is a fetal echocardiogram?

A fetal echocardiogram is a specialized ultrasound test to evaluate an unborn baby’s heart. With information from a fetal echocardiogram, the caring team at Cardiology Care for Children can diagnose congenital heart disease at the earliest possible stage.

Armed with information from your fetal echocardiogram, the Cardiology Care for Children team can provide essential treatments as soon as they’re needed (based on your baby’s heart condition). 

When would I need a fetal echocardiogram?

Your obstetrician may recommend a fetal echocardiogram if they identify any of the following concerns:

  • Abnormal fetal heart rate or rhythm
  • Fetal heart abnormalities on a routine obstetric ultrasound
  • Physical problems found on a routine ultrasound (such as excessive fluid buildup)
  • Chromosomal tests reveal abnormalities associated with congenital heart disease
  • Exposure to certain drugs during pregnancy
  • Family history of congenital heart disease 

Obstetricians may also recommend a fetal echocardiogram if the mother has a high-risk health condition, such as diabetes or lupus. 

What heart problems does a fetal echocardiogram detect?

Echocardiograms create images of the baby’s heart using sound waves. In addition to revealing the size and shape of physical structures, echocardiograms show muscle contractions, blood flow, and valve movements. As a result, your Cardiology Care for Children provider can assess the heart’s function. 

Fetal echocardiograms show many possible problems, including:

  • Septal defect (hole in the heart)
  • Pulmonary or aortic atresia (unusual valve development)
  • Coarctation of the aorta (narrowed aorta)
  • Single ventricle anomalies (one ventricle isn’t working properly)

These are only a few examples of conditions often diagnosed before birth. Don’t hesitate to contact Cardiology Care for Children if you have any questions about congenital heart conditions or a fetal echocardiogram. 

What happens during a fetal echocardiogram?

Getting a fetal echocardiogram is just like your routine prenatal ultrasounds. Your provider places the ultrasound gel on your belly, gently presses the handheld device (transducer) against your skin, and moves it around.

However, if it’s early in your pregnancy, your echocardiogram may be done with a small transducer placed in your vagina. That obtains clearer images of the tiny heart because the sound waves don’t go through your skin.

After your Cardiology Care for Children provider reviews your fetal echocardiogram, they explain the results and recommend the next step.

If you need a fetal echocardiogram, call Cardiology Care for Children or request an appointment online today.