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3D ultrasound image taken at 23 weeks into pregnancy.
An ultrasound is a safe diagnostic procedure that uses very high frequency sound waves to produce an image of the internal structures of the body. Unlike x-rays, that use radiation to produce images, ultrasound uses sound waves, which are harmless, even on pregnant women.

The results of ultrasound exams are very much dependent on the skill of the operator. For this reason, Lakes Regional Healthcare only employs technologists with extensive ultrasound training to perform these exams.

Lakes Regional Healthcare has three types of ultrasounds available: 2D, 3D, and 4D.

2D Ultrasound
2D ultrasound is the conventional ultrasound most are familiar with. In 2D ultrasound scanning, the image is made up of a series of images, also known as slices, and only one slice can be seen at any one time. In the example of an ultrasound being performed on a mom-to-be, the images are very informative, but not very life like.

3D Ultrasound
With 3D ultrasound scanning, a volume of slices (images) are taken, stored digitally, and shaded to produce life like pictures of, for example, a fetus. 3D images are still, non-moving images that show in great detail life like, realistic images. The images of organs, such as the liver or kidney, can also be rotated to see the entire volume of the organ to determine abnormalities such as a mass.

4D Ultrasound
4D images are 3D images that are moving pictures. The 4D images are live, which, in the case of scanning a fetus, the baby can be seen moving in real time so the activity of the baby inside the womb can be studied. The fetus can be seen to yawn, cry, swallow, blink, and perform intricate finger movements, all of which can be seen more commonly as pregnancy advances. Another benefit of 4D ultrasound scanning is the increased bonding that may occur between parents and baby as a result of seeing a more realistic, moving image.

For more information on ultrasound services at Lakes Regional Healthcare, please call 712-336-8658.

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