Your referring health professional may request amniocentesis, or it may be performed upon radiologist recommendation, if pre-natal screening or early obstetric ultrasound identifies a higher risk of chromosomal abnormality for your baby.
Typically performed in week 16 of pregnancy, amniocentesis is a procedure in which a sample of amniotic fluid is removed from the uterus for testing or treatment. Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds and protects a baby during pregnancy and contains fetal cells and various proteins. The fluid sample is then sent for pathology and chromosomal analysis.
This procedure does involve an element of risk and is not undertaken unless significant factors in favour of proceeding with amniocentesis are present. Your referring health professional should discuss these risk factors with you, although Dr Sivyer will also discuss these with you on the day of appointment.
Amniocentesis involves a standard transabdominal ultrasound for anatomical review and procedural planning, followed by sampling under ultrasound guidance. During the transabdominal ultrasound, warm gel is applied to your abdomen before our imaging technician places the probe on the abdominal surface and applies pressure to obtain images of the pelvic organs and fetal anatomy.
During amniotic fluid sampling, local anaesthetic is applied to the area to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. Our radiologist will then insert the sampling needle using ultrasound guidance under sterile technique to obtain samples of the amniotic fluid. We will be monitoring both you and your baby closely throughout the procedure.
Upon completion of the procedure, we will consult you regarding appropriate aftercare and the process of obtaining your finalised pathology results.