What is TIFFA Scan / Anomaly scan

Almost all Obstetricians would agree that during their Outpatient department (OPD) consultations, most of the Pregnant female and their partners would ask the same question over and over again, “Is my Baby okay? Is everything Fine with the Baby?

In the day-to-day practice of modern obstetrics, Sonography has become an integral part of the routine antenatal care. Before a few decades, when Sonography was not widely available, the only way to check for the Baby’s wellbeing was to examine the belly of mother and hearing heart clinically sounds through a Stethoscope. But nowadays, a sonography machine which is readily available with Obstetrician gives detailed information regarding the Baby’s condition and relieves the anxious parents too. Let’s understand things with basics first

So, what is Sonography, and how does it work?

Sonography is a procedure in which a probe is used to generate sound waves which travels into the body and gives a picture of internal organs and structures. It requires a machine that has a Screen, a console, and different types of probes. The probes contain a piezoelectric substance that generates sound waves when the electrical current is passed through them. These sound waves travel through the human body tissues and generate images when they return and analyzed by the same probe. The image created is visible on the screen.

Why is Sonography needed?

Sonography is a beneficial tool throughout pregnancy. During the early weeks of pregnancy, it gives details about the formation of Baby and its heartbeat. It also allows us to rule out an ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus. The Sonography also helps to define the exact age of Baby and the growth pattern. Even in cases of bleeding during early pregnancy, it gives details on the wellbeing of the baby and guides management. Later on, it provides excellent details about Baby’s anatomy and development of organs and their growth potential. In later stages of pregnancy, it gives details and comparison to the growth of Baby as well as the blood supply of the Baby.

Is Sonography harmful to Baby?

Not at all. The ultrasound is just high-frequency sound waves that are not audible to us. There is no radiation involved in Sonography (like x-ray or CT scan). In multiple trials and researches, it has been concluded that Sonography does not harm the Baby.

Who can do the scan?

Fetal medicine specialist, Radiologist and can do the scan Gynecologist trained in Sonography. Anyone with experience in fetal Sonography can do the scan. The scan requires detailed knowledge of the structures of the Baby.

What is an Anomaly scan or TIFFA Scan? & When is it done?

The Sonography of modern obstetrics has become so advanced that the developmental milestones of Baby at certain months of pregnancy can be easily viewed on Sonography. Sonography is done throughout early pregnancy until delivery. But there are certain Sonography milestones that are very important in the present era. One such scan is an Anomaly scan or TIFFA scan (Targeted Imaging for fetal anomalies). It is done between 18-22 weeks (5th month) of pregnancy.

The scan identifies the developmental anomaly and anatomical defects in the growing Baby. In the present scenario, A Fetal medicine specialist or a the gynecologist will perform this scan between 18-22 weeks of pregnancy. The scan can be scheduled earlier also if required in certain conditions like twins babies, the previous Baby with the anomaly, specific markers found during 11-13 weeks scan and High-risk pregnancy.

How to decide the timing for TIFFA Scan?

Your gynecologist would be the best person to decide the dates of your scan. Depending on your last time of menses or early Sonography of Baby, you will be asked to carry out the scan from 18-22 weeks of pregnancy.

What is the advantage of the TIFFA scan?

The advantages of the scan are enormous. The scan shows detailed anatomy of the Baby right from head to toe. The doctor will generally spend 30-50 minutes to scan different areas of Baby’s body.

Let’s see what the scan will show to us…

A detailed structure of the brain and head Facial parameters and cleft lip/cleft palate Chest, lungs, and heart Heart function and any anomalies associated with heart Stomach, Kidneys, and Bladder Bones of whole body, Spine, Ribs Fingers and toes Apart from the things mentioned above, the scan can show blood flow to the structures and organs, the growth according to Baby’s age and water level around the Baby. It also gives insight into Placenta (part which provides blood from mother to Baby) and cervix (mouth of uterus) Anomaly scan can be very informative and almost 90% accurate in diagnosing abnormal or normal conditions of Baby. A scan performed by experienced Fetal medicine specialist will ensure that everything is fine to the would-be parents.

What is 3D Sonography? How does it help?

The recently advanced machines can generate a 3D image of Baby’s body parts, and with those images, few structural defects can be easily identified. The image which is generated is not live but can give an almost real-like picture.

How do we interpret the TIFFA scan?

The scan interpretation is to be done by the gynecologist. Once the scan is done, your doctor will give you detailed information regarding the status of Baby as well as changes in medications if required. Once the scan is done, you can be reasonably sure of Baby’s condition and relieve your anxiety. Pregnancy is a state of enormous joy and an experience to enjoy. Let your stresses and worries be taken care of by the Sneh hospital team and enjoy this phase fully without any problem and fear. At Sneh Hospital, we will take care of all your worries and make sure this journey of 9 months is memorable to you.