Honesdale, PA – Pregnant women over the age of 35, those with a strong family history of chromosomal disorders or risk factors such as gestational diabetes may be advised to undergo a first trimester test called a Nuchal Translucency (NT) ultrasound. Until recently, women in need of this diagnostic procedure were required to travel outside of the Honesdale area to have the procedure performed.
The first trimester screening consists of a blood test and a targeted ultrasound called Nuchal Translucency. It helps assess whether or not a baby is at high risk of being born with a genetic condition such as Down Syndrome. The procedure measures the amount of fluid accumulated under the skin at the back of a developing baby’s neck. A screen positive result from the ultrasound may indicate the need for further evaluation.
“The ultrasound is performed while a woman is in her first trimester, that is usually between 11 to 13 weeks. This, in conjunction with a second trimester screen, has a greater predictability for Down Syndrome,” remarked Denise Viola, D.O., Obstetrician/Gynecologist at Women’s Health Center, “It’s just great that we can now do it right here.”
Jennifer Suhosky, a registered diagnostic medical sonographer employed by Women’s Health Center, was recently credentialed to perform NT ultrasounds. The expansion of the practice’s diagnostic capabilities helps alleviate stress for expectant mothers by allowing them to have the procedure performed at their own physician’s office.
“Our goal is to utilize the Nuchal Translucency ultrasound test combined with the Quad Screen blood test to provide the best possible outcome for our high risk moms and their babies,” stated Suhosky.
In order to achieve the certification, Suhosky was required to complete an educational training course, pass an on-line exam and submit a minimum of five satisfactory fetal images to the Nuchal Translucency Quality Review Program of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Foundation for evaluation.
Women’s Health Center is part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, a federally qualified health center clinically affiliated with Wayne Memorial Health System, Inc. The Center accepts public and private insurances includingAetna, United, Geisinger and Blue Cross. Additionally, a sliding fee scale based on income is offered. For more information about our Obstetrical and Gynecological services, call 570.253.3005 or visit wmh.org.
Photo: Jennifer Suhosky, registered diagnostic medical sonographer at Women’s Health Center, in Honesdale.