Are ultrasound scans safe in pregnancy?
The British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) state that “there is no evidence that diagnostic ultrasound has produced any harm to patients in the four decades of its use.” They go on to say that it “can only be considered safe if used prudently”. Ultrasound scans have been performed for many years in pregnancy and are thought to be safe, providing the clinician has a good understanding of safe use.
There is a theoretical risk of warming tissues or creating gas bubbles if the output of the machine is very high. To protect against this we follow the BMUS safety guidelines. We ensure the output of the machine and length of scan are kept within safe limits with a large safety margin between this limit and the level with a theoretical potential to harm.
You can find more information from the Health Protection Agency about the safety of ultrasound here: www.gov.uk/government/collections/ultrasound-and-infrasound-health-effects
How do I give feedback about my scan?
We love to get feedback as it helps us to know what we are doing well and what we need to improve! To give a compliment, report a concern or make a complaint please contact Dr Joanna Clark using our contact form, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also use the telephone number listed. We have a complaints leaflet that can be sent to you in the post or by email, or given to you at your appointment. This tells you how to make a complaint and what will happen next.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you cancel more than 7 days before your appointment please contact us to ask for a refund of your deposit. If you cancel with more than 24 hours but less than 7 days notice the deposit only is payable, If you cancel within 24 hours the full fee will be charged. If you have to cancel within 24 hours for a medical reason such as miscarriage then only the deposit will be payable.
Where will my appointment be?
At Taunton Road Medical Centre in Bridgwater, or at Elm Hayes Surgery near Bath, depending which option you selected. These are NHS GP surgeries. There is a map and directions on the “location” section of the website. If you arrive in the evening and the surgery sliding doors are closed please ring the bell and reception will let you in.
How do I pay?
A deposit is taken at the time of booking. The remainder of your fee by debit or credit card at your appointment. There is a 1% fee for credit card transactions. We do not accept cash, cheques or American Express cards. Please note that unfortunately we cannot proceed with your appointment without payment.
I have had IVF/ICSI treatment. How do I work out when to come for a scan?
Please count the day of your egg collection as being 2 weeks pregnant on that day. For a frozen embryo cycle please use the day of embryo transfer. You would be 2 weeks and 2-3 days pregnant on that day for a cleavage stage embryo (day 2-3 embryo). If it was a blastocyst (day 5 or 6 embryo) then you are 2 weeks and 5 or 6 days pregnant on the day of embryo transfer. If this is too confusing then please email or phone us and ask!
What happens if you find something unexpected during my scan?
We will tell you about the finding in a compassionate and honest way. If your pregnancy is of uncertain viability we will offer you another appointment with us (charged at second scan rate) or arrange this for you with an NHS hospital of your choice. With your consent we will send the hospital a medical report about you or give you a report to take with you and give the hospital verbal information over the phone. We will not share information about you with anyone without your consent.
Will you be able to check the baby for medical problems at my early scan?
The purpose of an early scan is to diagnose the viability of your pregnancy. We can also date the pregnancy – but please note that if you a having a very early scan and the baby is still less then 5mm in size (6 weeks) the dating can only be given as an estimate of the number of weeks. After 7 weeks the dating is more accurate and is best at 8 weeks or more. We can also check the pregnancy is in the womb, not in the fallopian tube (ectopic) and whether you are expecting twins. Unfortunately it is usually not possible to diagnose structural defects on an early ultrasound scan, as the baby is very small still and we will not be looking for this. Structural abnormalities will be looked for at your 12 & 20 week NHS scans.