What is Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies (TIFFA) scan?
The Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies (TIFFA) scan, also known as the fetal anomaly scan, is a crucial prenatal diagnostic procedure that assesses the structural development of a fetus. This comprehensive ultrasound examination aims to detect any potential abnormalities in the baby’s organs or body systems. The scan is also called as a fetal anatomy scan.
Understanding the Anomaly Scan (TIFFA Scan)
The anomaly scan, typically performed between the 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy. This is a detailed ultrasound examination that evaluates the fetal anatomy, growth, and development. This non-invasive procedure uses high-frequency sound waves to generate real-time images of the baby in the womb. It helps identify any structural abnormalities or potential birth defects in various organs and body systems.
Timing of Anomaly Scan
During a normal pregnancy, healthcare providers typically conduct the anomaly scan between 18 to 22 weeks gestation. This timing enables them to optimally visualize fetal structures while allowing enough time for necessary interventions or follow-up assessments if they detect any anomalies. It is important to note that the healthcare provider’s recommendation and individual circumstances may cause the exact timing to vary.
Preparing for an Anomaly Scan
To prepare for an anomaly scan, it is essential to follow certain guidelines. These may include:
- Hydration: Drink plenty of water before the scan to ensure a clear ultrasound image.
- Comfortable Clothing: Wear loose-fitting and easily removable clothing to facilitate easy access to the abdominal area during the scan.
- Timing and Appointments: Follow the recommended timing and schedule the scan appointment in advance to ensure availability and avoid delays.
How is a anomaly scan performed?
The Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies (TIFFA) scan is performed using ultrasound technology. This allows for a detailed assessment of the developing fetus.
During the scan, the expectant mother lies comfortably on an examination table. Next, a trained sonographer or healthcare professional applies a special gel to her abdomen. This gel helps facilitate the transmission of sound waves and enhances the quality of the ultrasound images. The sonographer then uses a handheld transducer device and gently moves it over the gel-covered abdomen, emitting high-frequency sound waves. These sound waves penetrate the skin and bounce back when they encounter different structures in the uterus. This creates real-time images on a monitor.
The sonographer carefully examines each area of the baby’s anatomy, including the head, brain, spine, heart, limbs, and organs. They measure various parameters, such as the length of the limbs and the size of organs. Your doctor will use this information to evaluate proper growth and development.
They capture relevant images, make notes, and document any findings. In some cases, the sonographer may also perform a Doppler ultrasound to assess blood flow in the umbilical cord and other important vessels. The TIFFA scan typically takes about 30 to 60 minutes. The time depends on the complexity of the examination and the cooperation of the baby. After the scan, the sonographer may discuss initial findings with the expectant parents and provide them with images to cherish. After generating a comprehensive report, a specialized fetal medicine expert or a healthcare provider reviews it. They interpret the results and offer further guidance and recommendations based on the findings of the TIFFA scan.
What are the common fetal anomalies that can be picked up on a TIFFA scan?
During a TIFFA scan, the doctor can identify several common anomalies, including:
- The scan can detect neural tube defects such as spina bifida, where the spinal cord and spine don’t develop properly.
- It can identify structural abnormalities in the baby’s heart, such as septal defects (holes in the heart), valve abnormalities, or irregular heart rhythms.
- Chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome can be detected through the TIFFA scan by assessing specific markers and measurements.
- It can identify skeletal anomalies such as limb deformities, clubfoot, or abnormalities in bone development.
- The scan can observe conditions like gastroschisis or omphalocele, where the abdominal organs develop outside the baby’s body.
- It can detect kidney malformations, urinary blockages, or hydronephrosis (enlargement of the kidney due to urine buildup).
- The TIFFA scan allows visualization of anomalies like hydrocephalus (excessive fluid in the brain) or agenesis of the corpus callosum (absence of the structure connecting the brain’s hemispheres).
- It can often detect facial anomalies such as cleft lip or palate.
It’s important to note that while the TIFFA scan is highly effective in identifying potential anomalies, it is not foolproof, and some conditions may require further diagnostic testing. Following the scan, healthcare professionals can provide appropriate counseling and guidance to ensure the best possible outcome for both the baby and the expectant parents
Cost of Anomaly Scan in Bangalore
The cost of an anomaly scan in Bangalore may vary depending on factors such as the diagnostic center, additional services provided, and any specific requirements. On average, the cost ranges between 2500 to 5000 INR . It is advisable to consult with different diagnostic centers and clarify the exact cost and any additional charges beforehand.
Abnormal Anomaly Scan Results
If an anomaly scan reveals any abnormalities, it is crucial not to panic and instead seek guidance from healthcare professionals. Your healthcare provider will assess the severity of the anomalies. He or she will provide counseling, and recommend further diagnostic tests or consultations with specialists. It is important to remember that an abnormal anomaly scan does not necessarily indicate a definitive diagnosis. Healthcare providers may require additional evaluations to determine the best course of action for the well-being of the baby and mother.
The Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies (TIFFA) scan, also known as the fetal anomaly scan, plays a vital role in assessing the structural development of a fetus. Understanding the purpose, timing, and preparation for this scan is essential for expectant parents. Whether you are undergoing a normal pregnancy, IUI conception, or IVF conception, the anomaly scan provides valuable insights into the baby’s health.