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LIST OF SERVICES
Amniocentesis
Anatomy Ultrasound (level 2 sonogram)
Biophysical Profile
Diabetes Management
Fetal Echocardiography
First Trimester Prenatal Screening and Ultrasound Exam
Management of Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Management of Incompetent Cervix
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Services Offered
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AMNIOCENTESIS:

What is amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is a procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid (the fluid around the baby) is obtained by passing a very thin needle through the mother’s abdominal wall into the amniotic sac. This is done under direct vision with ultrasound guidance to avoid injuring the baby.

What are the indications for amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is usually done between 15 and 20 weeks to determine whether the baby has genetic or chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome. Other genetically related medical disorders such as sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, thalassemias, and Tay Sachs Disease can also be diagnosed by amniocentesis.

Amniocentesis is also done to check if the baby’s lungs are mature enough for the baby to breathe on it’s own when early delivery may become necessary in certain conditions such as diabetes, placenta previa, and previous cesarean section. Sometimes amniocentesis is done to check for infection of the amniotic fluid or to see if the water has broken.

Rarely, amniocentesis is done for therapeutic purposes to drain excessive amniotic fluid in a condition known as polyhydraminos. Polyhydraminos large enough to require drainage by amniocentesis is seen in rare conditions such as twin to twin transfusion.

Who should have amniocentesis?
Some common indications for amniocentesis are:
   
  •  Advanced maternal age (mother’s age 35 years or more at time of delivery)
  •  Abnormal findings on first trimester or second trimester screening
  •  Ultrasound results indicating a malformed baby
  •  Parents are carriers of diseases such as Sickle Cell Anemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Thalassemias, and Tay Sachs Disease
   

Are there Risks with Amniocentesis?
Genetic amniocentesis carries a small risk of miscarriage, approximately 1:350. Infrequently, leakage of amniotic fluid is noticed after the procedure and in more than 90% of time this is a transient event and the pregnancy will continue as expected.

When amniocentesis is performed later in pregnancy (after 24 weeks) for any reason, there is about 1% risk of premature delivery as result of premature labor, water breaking, and vaginal bleeding.

The risk of complication from amniocentesis is related to the expertise of the Doctor, the indication for the amniocentesis, and the age of the baby.

What to expect after amniocentesis?
There is no need to stay in bed rest after amniocentesis; however it is imperative to avoid heavy exertion such as exercising, heavy weight lifting, and exercising for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.

Cramping is expected after amniocentesis; if severe enough to cause discomfort, you may need to stay off your feet, increase fluid intake, or take two regular plain Tylenol. However if vaginal bleeding or leakage of fluid takes place, you need to inform your Obstetrician immediately.

How long does it take to get amniocentesis results?
It takes approximately ten days to get the result of the chromosomal analysis. In some instances when the result is needed more quickly a test called (FISH) Fast In Situ Hybridization is ordered and takes 48 hours to get the results. FISH checks for only a  limited number of chromosomal abnormalities and does not replace the final more conclusive full analysis (Karyotyping).

Our Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors have extensive experience in amniocentesis in the greater Washington D.C. area, Northern Virginia and Maryland. Our Perinatologists provide a comprehensive service that in addition to providing amniocentesis includes genetic counseling, and interpretation of the result and give you and your Obstetrician plans for management.

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