4-dimensional ultrasound produces a moving image of a baby’s body.It is called four-dimensional because it produces a result in 4 dimensions(x, y, z, and t).In a 3D ultrasound, a three-dimensional image of the baby is created, but in 4Dultrasound a 3D moving image of the body is produced.So, in short, you can see what your child is doing inside the womb at that moment. You can see the baby smiling, yawning, kicking, etc.Everyone would want to have a 4D ultrasound for their child but unfortunately, it might not be possible for everyone because it is expensive and if you are willing to spend that amount of money, a 4D ultrasound is illegal in some countries.
But is getting a 4D ultrasound a good idea?
Let us discuss some advantages and disadvantages of 4D ultrasound.
|S. No.||Advantages of 4-dimensional Ultrasound|
|1||No- invasive test.|
|2||Parents can see their baby moving before its birth.|
|3||You can listen to the heartbeat of the baby.|
|4||No need to have a full bladder before the ultrasound to get correct results.|
|5||Sex of the baby can be determined earlier.|
|6||Congenital defects are easily spotted which usually go unnoticed.|
|7||Defects detected earlier can be treated inside the womb before birth.|
People have too much faith in 4-dimensional ultrasound, and if any defect is not visible in the ultrasound, they stop prenatal care, whereas, specialist’s not true. Subjected to many facts some deformities may not be visible in the ultrasound.
|S. No.||Disadvantages of Ultrasound|
|1||It is expensive.|
|2||It is illegal in some countries.|
|3||Too much ultrasound is not safe for the baby.|
|5||Need trained staff.|
|6||It is not readily available.|
How to perform?
Ultrasound is conducted in the same way as the regular ultrasound having the following steps,
- The patient is asked to lie down on his/her back on the examination table mainly
- A gel that aids to carry the sound waves are applied to the tummy of the patient and a device called transducer is moved along your tummy in circular motions.
- The sound waves travel to the uterus through the abdomen and bounce back off the baby.
- These sound waves are bounced back in the form of echoes, and they are recorded by the computer and transformed into images. All the actions and movements of the baby are registered in the shape of pictures, and these fast moving images from a video showing the movement of the baby.
- This completes the 4-dimensional ultrasound which gives comparatively accurate and detailed results.
- The video of the baby is presented to the parents in the form of, a
When to perform a 4D ultrasound:
4D ultrasound can be carried out between 26 to 32 weeks. However, the doctor is the best person to decide when the test can be done. Though this technology is very exciting and tempting but it should be strictly limited to need based. Only undertaking a 4D ultrasound for the sake of looking at your baby’s face is not a good idea. So, discuss with your doctor and review the pros and cons of a 4D ultrasound before undertaking it.