Who Will Perform Your 3D or 4D Ultrasound?
If you seek a 3D or 4D ultrasound at the recommendation of a doctor, for medical purposes, it’s likely that the procedure will take place in the doctor’s office, at a lab or in a hospital’s radiology department. With the increase of freestanding commercial fetal imaging sites, some doctors who don’t have access to top-level 3D and 4D ultrasound equipment are writing prescriptions to patients to visit centers that employ trained sonographers or ultrasound technicians. Most of these technologists have attended ultrasound technician schools.
For example, ultrasound providers that are licensed by the firms Geddes Keepsakes and First Look Sonogram must use sonographers that have been certified by or eligible to be certified by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). ARDMS is “the recognized international standard in sonography credentialing.”
Some centers require that a client’s doctor be informed of the intent to obtain a reassurance or keepsake ultrasound.
Knowing the credentials and experience of the person performing your ultrasound is important, for both safety and accuracy reasons. Most abide by the “ALARA” (as low as reasonably possible) principle when it comes to the setting on the ultrasound machine.
Contrary to some concerns expressed by the FDA and various medical associations (quoted at at Yourultrasound.com’s Ultrasound Baby Safety page), the operators of freestanding fetal imaging centers express confidence that their ultrasounds are safe. Their claims are bolstered by the fact that an ultrasound at 18 to 20 weeks’ gestation has become almost routine, despite the aforementioned statements by the government, ultrasound manufacturers and medical associations. Following are some statements by the commercial ultrasound industry:
“Extensive studies over 30 years have found that ultrasound has not been shown to cause any harm to mother or baby.”
First Look Sonogram
“Ultrasound technology has been studied over the past 30 years and has not been shown to cause any harm to the mother or baby.”
Little Sprout Imaging