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Amniocentesis

Amniocentesis - What it is

It is a procedure in which a small amount of the amniotic fluid (about 20 cc) surrounding the fetus is withdrawn for testing for chromosomes and genetic disease.

This is done by inserting a very fine needle through the mother’s abdomen into the uterus under ultrasound
guidance.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes only a few minutes.

Most women do not experience any pain and a local anesthetic is not necessary. The needle may cause some pain when it penetrates the uterus, but the pain should not last long and should not hurt more than an injection into any other part of the body.

After the fluid has been withdrawn, the removal of the needle will cause no further discomfort. The fluid is then sent to the laboratory for analysis.


Amniocentesis - Symptoms

Amniocentesis - How to prevent?

Amniocentesis - Causes and Risk Factors

WHO SHOULD CONSIDER AMNIOCENTESIS?
  • Women whose First Trimester Screening or Maternal Serum Screening or Non Invasive prenatal testing test results shows a “High Risk” for Trisomy 21 or 13 or 18.
  • Women who know that they or their partners are carriers of a known genetic disease.
  • Women who had an early ultrasound report shows that the fetus has structural defects which are associated with chromosomal disorders.
  • Women who know that they or their partners have an unusual chromosome arrangement.
  • Women who have had a child with Down Syndrome or chromosol disorders.
There may be other reasons that apply uniquely to you. Both you and your obstetrician should decide together if you need an Amniocentesis.

WHEN WILL THE AMNIOCENTESIS TEST RESULTS BE AVAILABLE ?

Usually it takes about 2–3 weeks. If you wish, a rapid test can provide a preliminary report in 3 working days.

CAN ALL BIRTH DEFECTS BE DETECTE D BY AMNIOCENTESIS?

No. Amniocentesis can detect almost all known chromosomal disorders. However, birth defects not due to chromos

IS AMNIOCENTESIS SAFE?

Amniocentesis is a safe, low risk procedure when done by experienced medical experts. The risk of miscarriage following the test is reported to be 0.3 - 0.5%.


Amniocentesis - Diagnosis

Amniocentesis - Treatments

WHY IS AMNIOCENTESIS NECESSARY ?

The majority of amniocentesis are done for the detection of chromosomal disorders. Chromosomes carry genes that pass certain characteristics from parents to their children. When there are too many or too few chromosomes or there is a defect in a chromosome, birth defects can occur.

Down Syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder.

It causes mental retardation and other health problems such as heart defects. Other less common chromosomal disorders may lead to serious handicaps and death.

WHEN IS AMNIOCENTESIS PERFORMED?

Amniocentesis is usually performed between 16th to 20th week of pregnancy.


Amniocentesis - Preparing for surgery

Amniocentesis - Post-surgery care

Amniocentesis - Other Information

USEFUL INFORMATION

No fasting is required for the procedure.
Activity – You should be able to return to your normal activities within a few hours after the procedure.
Rest – If you are working, you will be given a medical certificate for the day of the procedure.
Medication – Some hormonal support in the form of oral tablets will be given after the procedure.
Diet – There are no dietary restrictions relating to this procedure.


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