What to Expect at the Feindiagnostik Ultrasound in Germany

16 May 2023 | Before Your Baby is Born | By Lisa H

At your second big ultrasound during pregnancy, which takes place between weeks 17 and 20, your OBGYN will check for any developmental problems.

If there's a need, they may do a more thorough ultrasound called “Feindiagnostik” in German or anatomy scan in English. This would happen between the 19th and 23rd week of pregnancy. During this ultrasound, they would look at the baby's organs closely to make sure everything is okay.

But not every pregnant person needs a detailed ultrasound. If you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy, the regular ultrasounds will be enough.

When is the Feindiagnostik recommended?

The detailed ultrasound is recommended if there are concerns about genetic issues or if it's a high-risk pregnancy. Here are some reasons why your OBGYN might recommend a detailed ultrasound:

  • Something unusual was found in a regular ultrasound.

  • You already have a child with an illness or disability.

  • You might carry a hereditary disease.

  • You have diabetes.

  • You had certain medications or an X-ray early in pregnancy.

  • There were complications in any previous pregnancies.

  • Your pregnancy is considered high risk.

It's up to you whether you want to have a detailed ultrasound, even if your doctor recommends it. It can be reassuring to know that everything is fine, but it's also important to consider how you would handle the news if there's a problem with your baby's health.

Who pays for the test?

The cost of the detailed ultrasound is covered by your health insurance – as long as it's recommended by your doctor.

How does the scan work?

During the detailed ultrasound, the doctor uses a special ultrasound machine to look at all the baby's organs. They check the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, and other parts of the body. They can also measure the size of the baby and see if it's growing properly.

To make sure that the baby does not have any heart problems or that there is no issues with the baby's oxygen supply, they might do a color Doppler examination. This helps them see the blood flow in the baby's body and check that everything is okay.

How to decide whether to have the extra scan?

Finding out that your baby might have developmental problems can be difficult for parents. But knowing about it during pregnancy gives the doctors a chance to provide support and plan for the baby's care. There are also organizations that can help parents during this tough time.

However, the detailed ultrasound has its limitations. It's more accurate than a regular ultrasound, but it can't guarantee that everything is perfect. Sometimes the position of the baby or the mother's weight can make it harder to get clear images. Also, there are some problems that the ultrasound can't detect.

If a problem is confirmed during the detailed ultrasound, the doctor will discuss the next steps with you. They might suggest further tests to confirm the issue or look at the baby's DNA. These tests can carry some risks, so the doctor will explain the options to you.

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