Miracles in the fourth dimension

Released: 05/05/17

The miracle of life and the miracle of modern medicine sometimes meet in ways we could never imagine. Like the new 3D/4D ultrasound technology made available to expectant parents at Winneshiek Medical Center. “I love seeing my baby’s heartbeat,” says Jordan Henning who was in her 21st week of pregnancy when she shared her ultrasound experience. “It is so amazing to watch my baby, before it is even born.”

 

Expectant mothers are usually asked to schedule a diagnostic, 2D ultrasound at 19-21 weeks of gestation. Appearing to the untrained eye as black and white blurry photos, 2D diagnostic scans examine the anatomy of the baby in great detail and can be interpreted. Richard Remark, M.D., fulltime Mayo Clinic Health System radiologist at Winneshiek Medical Center says, “The careful and accurate measurements made during the 2D scan are very important to help monitor the wellbeing of the unborn baby.”

 

The newer 3D/4D scans are not diagnostic, but expectant parents can benefit in other ways as they have the opportunity to begin bonding with their unborn child. “Seeing my baby roll over, yawn and even give me a fist bump is just amazing,” says Jordan. “Taking a peek at your baby’s movements inside the womb with 3D/4D scan depends on the fetal position of the baby and gestation,” says Dr. Remark. “Our experienced ultrasonographers take care to make the experience as memorable and educational as possible, however on occasions examinations may be unsuccessful and/or need to be rescheduled.” When the baby’s position does cooperate, the images on a 3D scan can show very detailed features, but 4D has the added dimension of time, so that parents see the baby actually moving.

“The images are so incredible – like a little video,” says Jordan. “We’re really happy with the care at Winneshiek Medical Center,” she adds. “Dr. Locke is very involved in my care and the staff in radiology made my ultrasound so fun and engaging. I think this is a great place to start my family.”

The new high definition ultrasound technology at Winneshiek Medical Center was funded through generous donations to the WMC Foundation 2016 Annual Fund. In addition to the added enjoyment for expectant parents, the new technology provides detailed images of soft tissue structures of the body, vessels and organs. The 2D high definition images allow doctors to provide precise diagnosis and treatment for each individual patient without radiation exposure. To learn more about ultrasound technology available at Winneshiek Medical Center, visit www.winmedical.org/ultrasound, or speak with your doctor.

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