Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound

Your referring doctor or midwife may refer you for a Nuchal Ultrasound. This information is to help you with any questions you may have.

Why have a Nuchal Translucency scan?

This is a screening scan, where measurements are made of the foetus during week eleven and a half to week fourteen. It is used to screen for abnormalities such as Downs Syndrome. Your doctor/midwife may refer you for this scan if you have had a previous Downs Syndrome child, or you are an older mother. Occasionally the foetus is not well seen on the abdominal scan and it may be necessary to perform an endovaginal scan.  Please read our Nuchal Pamphlet.


You will need to have a full bladder for this examination. Please drink one litre of water one hour before your appointment time; do not empty after this. The water in your bladder assists us to see the pelvic organs.

Who does the test?

A specially certified Sonographer will perform the examination and record ultrasound images on CD.  The data will be entered into a special computer program from the Foetal Medicine Foundation in London, the results will be sent to your midwife/doctor.

The Procedure

The Sonographer will ask you to lie on a table. The examination and how the risk assessment works, will be explained to you before your scan commences. Some warm gel will be spread on your bare abdomen and a transducer will be moved over your abdomen to produce images. You will be able to watch these images on a specially mounted TV screen. The Sonographer will be able to show some details of what they are seeing on the monitor. After the examination is completed, the Sonographer will wipe the gel off your skin. The Sonographer will then enter data in the computer and discuss the findings with you.

How long does it take?

This procedure takes 10-20 minutes.

After the examination

The Radiologist will review the ultrasound images and provide a written report to your midwife/doctor.  A CD with your images on will be given to you after the examination or posted to you. There is an option available to purchase a DVD for $10 to have your scan recorded. 

Cost is $30 which is payable on the day of your appointment prior to the examination.

Please contact Hamilton Radiology for an appointment on 07-839 4909 or 0800 HAMRAD (0800 426723).

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