Fetal Echocardiogram

TLC Perinatal PA

Maternal Fetal Medicine & Perinatal Specialist located in Silver Spring, Germantown, and Hagerstown, Maryland

A fetal echocardiogram can help diagnose or rule out any heart or serious conditions that your growing fetus could develop. With the help of the board-certified MFMs at TLC Perinatal PA in Silver Spring, Germantown, and Hagerstown, Maryland, you can get your essential fetal echocardiogram and results all under one roof. Have your OB/GYN refer you for a prenatal evaluation and fetal echocardiogram and then schedule your appointment by clicking on the online scheduler or by calling your nearest office today.

Fetal Echocardiogram Q & A

Why do I need a fetal echocardiogram?

The maternal-fetal specialists at TLC Perinatal PA can get a sampling of your baby’s heart rhythm through a traditional ultrasound. If your baby’s heartbeat is abnormal, or if your OB/GYN is concerned about your fetal risk for congenital heart disease, they can refer you for a fetal echocardiogram. This specialized test is often requested if:

  • You have heart disease in your family
  • You used drugs, alcohol, or certain medications during pregnancy
  • One of your other children was diagnosed with a heart condition after birth
  • You have chronic conditions like lupus, diabetes, or phenylketonuria
  • Your unborn baby is at risk of developing a heart abnormality

A fetal echocardiogram is a simple in-office test that provides fast results. The doctors at TLC Perinatal PA train their expertise on getting the information that you and your OB/GYN need to determine if further testing is necessary.

What happens during a fetal echocardiogram?

A fetal echocardiogram is an ultrasound specifically looking at the fetal cardiac structure, although it’s usually preferred primarily during weeks 18-24 of your pregnancy. It can be performed through your abdomen or through your vagina.

For the abdominal echocardiography test, you lie back on a table and your technician applies a warm lubricating gel to your belly. They glide the transducer over your abdomen, which sends high-frequency sound waves into your body. These waves hit dense objects and create echo sounds, which are recorded in the computer system.

The transvaginal echocardiogram is similar, except the transducer is a small probe that is inserted into your vagina. Usually, the transvaginal echocardiogram is preferred in earlier stages during your first few months of pregnancy.

What do my echocardiogram results mean?

Your fetal echocardiogram shows your dedicated MFM team how well your baby’s heart is functioning. They get an in-depth analysis of your baby’s blood flow and development. In some cases, your practitioner at TLC Perinatal PA will discover abnormalities.

Usually, an abnormal fetal echocardiogram opens the door for your OB/GYN to order further evaluations by TLC Perinatal PA specialists of your baby’s development. This could mean that you need regular fetal echocardiograms throughout your pregnancy, a fetal MRI scan, or specialized ultrasound.

Even though finding abnormalities can be devastating news, the sooner they’re caught, the earlier your OB/GYN can intervene and help treat you. Your echocardiogram results mean that you, your OB/GYN, and the specialists at TLC Perinatal PA can work together to find solutions like corrective surgery to ensure the healthy development of your baby.

Ask your OB/GYN for a referral and schedule your fetal echocardiogram visit to TLC Perinatal PA today. You can conveniently book your visit online or over the phone.