Fetal Echocardiography Scan

During pregnancy, the doctor will conduct many tests to monitor the health of the unborn child and the mother. Earlier, tests on the unborn child were risky. However, today, with the use of modern machines and techniques, tests for the health of the unborn foetus are possible. One of the tests that doctors perform on the foetus is a fetal echocardiography scan. A fetal echocardiography scan is important because it gives indications about the heart health of the child. An echocardiography scan is done on humans to learn about heart functions and any abnormal structures. The same thing can be done for the foetus to see if it is healthy in the womb. The examination process uses scanning and echo sound waves, so it is not invasive. The fetal echocardiography scan also allows the doctor to monitor the circulation of blood in the fetus. The scan is necessary to ensure the baby is born in full health.

When is a fetal echocardiography scan necessary?

Today, tests on unborn fetuses like ultrasound and genetic testing are common. However, a fetal echocardiography scan is not always necessary. The signs and conditions that make a fetal echocardiography scan necessary are as follows:

  • If there is a possibility of a heart abnormality or congenital heart condition through family history,
  • A family history of heart disease also makes a fetal echocardiography scan necessary.
  • If the mother is exposed to drugs and alcohol during the pregnancy phase, a fetal echocardiography scan is necessary.
  • If the first child has a heart condition, it is important to screen the second child for heart malfunction through a fetal echocardiography scan.

These are some of the signs that can prompt the doctor to recommend a fetal echocardiography scan. The fetal echocardiography scan can be performed with the help of a cardiologist and an ultrasound technician.

Preparation for the test

The mother does not have to prepare, especially for the fetal echocardiography scan. The fetal echocardiography scan is usually done like an ultrasound and is noninvasive. Therefore, you do not need to make any special preparations. The mother can eat and drink regular foods. However, the mother should take the precaution of not putting any kind of lotion or cream on the area where the scan will be performed.

What is the procedure for the test?

The procedure for the fetal echocardiography scan is very simple. The doctor and an experienced ultrasound technician help with the procedure. The fetal echocardiography scan is performed in a darkened room. The mother has to lie down. A special kind of gel is put on the belly area of the mother, and the echocardiogram or transducer is rolled on it. The gel helps the sound waves emitted by the transducer move to the baby’s heart and then back towards the wand. The wand is moved at different angles to get a clear picture of the fetus's heart’s structure and movements. The mother will not feel any pain during the procedure. However, she might feel a bit of pressure and the sensation of the gel from the wand's movement on her belly. The fetal echocardiography scan session is short. It can be either 30 minutes or two hours long, depending on the pictures taken. The baby moves around, and capturing the pictures can be difficult with its varying positions.

The results of the test

The results of the test come through the same day or the next day. The doctor might suggest another session of fetal echocardiography scanning to confirm the results and interpretation. The doctor will interpret the results and tell the expecting couple about them. A normal fetal echocardiography scan means the baby has a healthy heart and is perfectly well. If the results are abnormal, the obstetrician will suggest more advanced tests to pinpoint the exact kind of heart condition the foetus has. The doctor will also suggest treatments for the unborn child or recommend a few specialists. The results of this test help the parents stay prepared for birth defects in the child and manage them after birth.


The fetal echocardiography scan is a new-age way of detecting birth defects of the heart in an unborn child. The fetal echocardiography scan can lead to timely treatment of the defect or disease so that it does not persist after birth. Timely diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a normal life for the child.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, DELHI-NCR - Moti Nagar. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. Are there any risks to the unborn child from the fetal echocardiography scan?

No, there are no risks to the unborn child from the fetal echocardiography scan.

2. What are the types of fetal echocardiography scans done in clinics?

Abdominal and transvaginal fetal echocardiography are done by technicians.

3. How many infants have congenital heart diseases?

Nearly 25 per cent of infants have congenital heart diseases.

4. When is a fetal echo scan performed in pregnancy?

The time between 18 and 24 weeks is perfect for a fetal echocardiography scan.

5. Is fetal echocardiography a confirmatory test?

No, fetal echocardiography is not a test of confirmation.

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