A Level II ultrasound or anomaly scan is a detailed ultrasound examination typically performed during the second trimester of pregnancy, usually between 18 and 22 weeks. This ultrasound is more comprehensive than the routine early pregnancy scans and is aimed at assessing the baby’s anatomy in detail.
Key aspects of a Level II or Anomaly Scan include:
Fetal Anatomy Assessment: The primary purpose of the Level II scan is to thoroughly evaluate the fetal anatomy. This includes examining the brain, spine, heart, kidneys, limbs, and other structures to ensure they are developing normally.
Detection of Structural Abnormalities: The scan is designed to detect any structural abnormalities or birth defects. This can include conditions such as neural tube defects, heart abnormalities, cleft lip and palate, limb abnormalities, and more.
Placental and Amniotic Fluid Assessment: The ultrasound also assesses the position and health of the placenta and measures the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby.
Gender Identification: While the primary focus is on assessing fetal anatomy, some expectant parents may choose to find out the baby’s gender during this scan, if they wish to know.
Growth Measurement: The ultrasound may include measurements of the baby’s size, which can help estimate gestational age and ensure the baby is growing appropriately.
Multiple Pregnancy Assessment: For women carrying more than one fetus (twins, triplets, etc.), the Level II scan is particularly important for evaluating the health and development of each baby.
It’s important to note that while the Level II ultrasound is a detailed examination, it cannot detect all possible anomalies, and it is not a guarantee of a healthy baby. In some cases, additional specialized tests may be recommended based on the findings of the anomaly scan or other risk factors.