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Very worried about 20-wk scan results (v long)

(16 Posts)
Boohoobaby Sun 02-Jan-05 18:56:53

Everyone has told me I have nothing to worry about, but I am hoping MNs will put my mind at ease (well as best they can).

Had my 20 week anomoly scan and it was done by a trainee sonographer, with a more experienced one in tow. It took a lot longer than was expected as trainee was not confident of what she was looking at. Baby did not co-operate for facial scan (face down and would not turn) so I had to go away for half an hour. Came back after some water and a muffin and it was just the trainee as the other had been called away. Baby had moved Sigh of relief from me, as everything seemed fine, as confimed by other sonographer before she had left.
However, the trainee then started measuring a part of the brain which she had previously measured and was silent whilst doing it. Being quite worried, I asked her what she was doing and she said 'I'm just going over it again, as I keep getting different readings - some have said 10 and others have said 9. Baby keeps moving it's head'. I asked 'what reading are you looking for?' and she said 'Either 10 or 11'. As she did not feel confident to make a judgement call, I am going back in 2 weeks to be re-scanned by the consultant.
Part of me is pleased that someone more experienced is doing my scan next time, but needless to say I am petrified about what they will find. Am I reading too much into it? She did say, 'Oh, I'm sure if the consultant was here, he would say there was nothing to worry about. The readings are still very high'.
DH nor my family are worried, it's only me.
Has anyone else had measurements that seemed suspect but have turned out to be ok? I know that this will not change the outcome of my next scan but any positive stories would help me get through the next two weeks.

bakedpotato Sun 02-Jan-05 19:11:22

boohoo, i had a terrible experience at 20 wks with uncooperative baby and sadistic sonographer (long thread on this back in Sept). she picked up one soft marker for DS and told me that in order to properly complete the scan, i would have to be rescanned in 2 wks. i thought this was outrageous, kicked up huge stink and in the end was rescanned repeatedly on that and the following day. ended up having an amnio, thankfully all was fine, but as a result of a letter i wrote (and I'd guess others received) they have changed their hospital policy: now women who need to be rescanned are put on the next available list, and seen in the next day or so. the hospital bigwigs have said they were aware of the distress caused by having to wait a fortnight under these circs.
it sounds crappy that you ended up getting a trainee without supervision who obv wasn't experienced enough -- and i would use this. why should you wait? she has scared you, almost certainly through her lack of expertise, and why should that mean you end up worrying uneccessarily for the next fortnight?
good luck if you decide to kick up a stink. ring your midwife, ring the chief sonographer, ring the sonographer who was supervising the traineee, find out the name of the consultant you're due to see and leave messages for them. just hammer away at them if you feel the need. you won't be the first.

HappyMumof2 Sun 02-Jan-05 19:48:09

Message withdrawn

Boohoobaby Mon 03-Jan-05 09:27:42

Thankyou very much for your replies.

HMof2, i think it was the ventricles- anyway, you have reassured me more than you think. Still a long two week wait though.

Thankyou again.

edam Mon 03-Jan-05 09:50:36

Boohoo baby, I've got enlarged ventricles which were only discovered when I had a brain scan at the age of 29! So obviously never caused me a problem and not noticeable throughout my childhood or adulthood, except that I do have a large head. Even if your baby has got them, it isn't necessarily anything to worry about. I don't have any stats on this but the consultant (who was looking for something completely unrelated and just happened to pick this up) told me loads of people have enlarged ventricles that are never apparent because they have no problems.
HTH

edam Mon 03-Jan-05 09:52:29

... and when I say a large head, nothing extreme, either, that people would comment on, apart from our GP when I was a baby who commiserated with my mother 'bet you had a hard time pushing that one out'.

singsong Mon 03-Jan-05 11:16:24

I think this is unacceptable
You have been caused much unnecessary anxiety.
Although I think it is reasonable for a trainee to perform the scan (everyone has to learn some how) it is completely unfair on both her and you for her to have been left alone like that. She should either have been supervised throughout or someone should have come in after she had finished her ‘practice run’ and rechecked her findings. At the very least she should have a mentor to call upon in times where she is uncertain about something. A trainee is there to learn and should not be abandoned like that. I’m sure the person who was called away had to go and do something very important but they should have offered you the opportunity to wait until she was free to come and see you again. You should not have to wait 2 weeks under these circumstances. I appreciate that it is good to leave some time between scans normally to see how things have grown/changed, but in this case I don’t think you got a ‘proper’ idea as to whether or not there is any problem in the first place as it sounds as if the trainee didn’t really know. I am almost certain that your next scan will not find a problem (and remember that these scans are not 100% accurate even in the most experienced hands. As the trainee told you, it may just be the baby wiggling about) but you do need to know for sure for your own sanity as you will continue to worry otherwise. Speak to your midwife about your concerns, she should be able to reassure you about what happened and also could pass your experience back to the hospital so they can hopefully make more of an effort to support their trainees and avoid putting other women though this anxiety.

tribpot Mon 03-Jan-05 12:01:15

Yes, I completely agree with singsong. Most definitely not fair to you, but I don't think the trainee should have been left in that position either.

I think you should certainly speak to your midwife tomorrow, and write a letter of concern to the hospital about it as well.

Not exactly the same situation, but this summer dh had an abdominal CT scan done (among many other exciting and invasive tests). Potentially this could have shown some very serious problem causing his chronic pain and debility. Of course I couldn't go in with him so on his return he told me that the CT woman had told him to "contact his doctor" implying that it was urgent the results be looked at. I couldn't get to speak to anyone at the hospital who could reassure me, and we had two agonising days waiting for the doctor to call us back (to say it was fine). Fortunately this was a private scan, otherwise we would have been waiting considerably longer to get the results back, it was just awful. We had to cancel a weekend away as there was just no way we could have gone away with that hanging over us.

I spoke to a friend of mine who's a lung cancer specialist and she says she sometimes forgets that when patients come in to get test results, they don't want nice chit chat to put them at ease first, they just want to be told straight away. Quite often they will burst into tears when she tells them the test is clear (not surprisingly). So I suspect the trainee may simply have underestimated the effect of her inconclusive words on a patient, but I do hope you can get some reassurance before the repeat scan. Best of luck for that.

Boohoobaby Mon 03-Jan-05 12:14:02

Thanks for the further replies. Have been trying to get hold of my midwife since last week (re homebirth as well as this scan) and it is proving very difficult.
Also, could not have a doctors appointment until 4 days before my repeat scan .
So will have to worry until then , unless someone knows where else I could contact to get reassurance.
When I was given my repeat scan date, I was told that the consultant was fully booked until the date given. Do you think I may be able to get onto a 'waiting list' just in case someone cancels?

orangina Mon 03-Jan-05 12:59:08

So sorry to hear about all this worry BHB, and I agree with what everyonhe else has said about it being unacceptable to have to go through what you've been through with the trainee and then having to wait a further 2 weeks for clarification.... any chance you could just get the scan re-done privately? I know you shouldn't have to dig into your pockets, but it might just be worth it for your own peace of mind. And then in the meantime you can write those letters etc to the midwife/consultant etc. I don't know where you are based, but I have always told myself throughout this pregnancy that if I ever had any questionable scan results (on the NHS), I would go to the Fetal Medicine Centre (London) for a 2nd opinion.....
Hope you sort it out soon and that everything does turn out to be fine, I'm sure it will be.

ItllBeLonelymumThisChristmas Mon 03-Jan-05 13:38:07

Boohoobaby, do try not to worry. The sonographer sounded very inexperienced to me. I once had someone scan me when I was expecting No2 and he was nearly due. She kept asking me unnecessary questions as though she was new to it all and nervous so I guessed she was new to the job like your sonographer. Suddenly she gasped, "I can't find the head!" as if it had suddenly dropped off! I knew the baby was engaging (I could feel this) and suggested the same to her. She moved the probe a bit lower and lo and behold, there was the baby's head!

Also, I have had a few occasions when my babies' measurements haven't matched the norm. Usually they say it is likely to be becasue the baby is not in a good position to be measured for that particular thing. I have four healthy, normal children now, so any worries about measurements were unnecessary. Try to take comfort from that, and I hope your appt with the consultant gives you all the reassurance you need.

Tipex Mon 03-Jan-05 13:39:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyMumof2 Mon 03-Jan-05 14:39:23

Message withdrawn

Boohoobaby Tue 04-Jan-05 10:15:30

Again, thankyou for all your replies. HMof2, it's really great to hear of someone who had the same 'problem'. It is really reassuring.

Seeing my midwife tomrrow so will have a word with her and see if I can get in any quicker, but you have all eased my worries a great deal - thank you.

Marina Tue 04-Jan-05 10:26:57

Boohoobaby, so sorry to hear of your worries. I am a veteran of scans as in three pregnancies and two live births I have experienced the entire range of sensitivity/seniority/competence the sonography profession has to offer.
The senior people I ended up with on my third pregnancy were not necessarily more competent with the equipment, but were MUCH better at explaining what sonography cannot be certain of as well as what it can...in other words, much more willing to be honest about its pitfalls as a diagnostic tool. My own experiences tell me it is used far more often to raise what turns out to be a false alarm, than to deliver confirmed bad news. They are covering themselves a lot of the time and basically, they have no choice but to do this.
Like Bakedpotato, I feel you were shortchanged here, and like singsong, I agree that students do need to learn and have never minded being "practised" on. But not at the expense of a parent's peace of mind.
I think you need to keep on at the hospital and your GP to get a re-scan quicker than this. You deserve to have your mind put at rest.

bonkerz Tue 04-Jan-05 11:06:06

I too had a bad experiance at 20 week scan! I was told In no uncertain terms that my baby did not have a stomach!!! I had to be scanned 3 times and each time had to drink more water! It was awful! Eventually they decided that i should be re scanned at 23 weeks and was sent away (being told i was having a girl!) At 23 weeks i returned and within seconds was told baby was fine, everything normal and it was a BOY!!!!!

I just think that its so hard to look at everything on a 20 week scan due to the size of the baby and positions etc... Dont panic im sure all will be fine!

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