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Ultrasound vs. sonogram FAQs

What's the difference?

According to the American Pregnancy Association: An ultrasound exam is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan a woman's abdomen and pelvic cavity, creating a picture (sonogram) of the baby and placenta. Although the terms ultrasound and sonogram are technically different, they are used interchangeably and reference the same exam.

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What ultrasounds do you offer at TMC?

We offer Perinatal OB services, including ultrasound, high risk consultation, and intervention, starting at 6 weeks through post term (past a baby's due date). We are equipped with the latest cutting edge ultrasound technology 3D, 4D, X-matrix, etc.

Routine obstetric ultrasound exams include:

  • Dating and Viability exams – performed as early as 6 weeks to assess pregnancy.
  • Routine/Anatomical exams – Complete examination of anatomy, biometry, and gender.
  • Biophysical Profile, checks fetal well-being usually ordered once a week until delivery – 28 to 42 weeks.

Advanced exams and procedures include:

  • Detailed/Targeted Exam: In depth assessment of fetal anatomy for high risk pregnancies.
  • First Trimester Screening/Nuchal Translucency Test - tests for Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21) and Edwards Syndrome (Trisomy 18) – 11 to 14 weeks.
  • Fetal Echocardiography – Examines fetal heart in-depth when there is concern over cardiac defects.
  • Amniocentesis – the sampling of amniotic fluid using a hollow needle inserted into the uterus, to screen for developmental abnormalities in a fetus.
  • Cordocentesis – or PUBS, is a diagnostic test similar to amniocentesis which examines blood from the umbilical cord.

What does perinatal mean?

  • It designates a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialty. TMC is one of the leading groups in the region that offers perinatal OB ultrasounds. We work closely with the Fetal Health Center at Children's Mercy both referring patients and receiving referrals for genetic counseling, inpatient care, fetal surgery, and interventional procedures.

How do I get a sonogram at TMC?

Only through a physician referral.

Who performs ultrasounds at TMC?

  • Our sonographers are perinatal sonographers with some of the highest ratings available.
  • All of our sonographers are ARDMS registered with advanced training in high risk perinatal ultrasound.
  • Our sonographers have advanced training and certification in fetal echocardiography.

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