What is TIFFA ultrasound?

TIFFA stands for Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies. As the name suggests, this scan is performed to understand if the baby is growing fine. It is usually performed around the 18th week of pregnancy, and this test measures and reports a number of things. 

What is TIFFA ultrasound?

 1. The internal organs of the baby.

One of the things that this detailed scan looks for is the organs of the baby like the heart, the brain, lungs, and so on. This is done to understand if the organs are formed well and are functioning normally.
There are conditions like congenital heart defects, problems with the spinal cord and brain, hernia, gastroschisis - a condition in which the walls of the tummy do not form fully during pregnancy, etc. If any of these problems are detected during the scan, your Ob/Gyn would ask you to go for further investigations like a Fetal 2D Echo (for cardiac issues).

2. The external organs of the baby

By the 18th week, your baby has begun rapid growth and several of his or her external features would have developed well. During the TIFFA scan, the technician would also pick up images of your baby's external organs and check for the progress of the development of organs such as eyelids, lips, fingers and toes, ears, etc. There are common problems like the cleft lip that are detected during this scan. If there are any such findings, then the Ob/Gyn will prepare you for the next steps to be taken for the management of the findings.

3. Position of your placenta

The placenta plays a very important part in the nourishment of your baby. The position of the placenta is another factor that is examined during the TIFFA scan. Problems such as placenta previa can have a significant impact during delivery. Placenta previa is when the placenta is in a low position and can be of three types:
  • Partial, when the placenta covers just a part of the cervix.
  • Marginal, when the placenta is on the edge of the cervix.
  • Total, when the placenta completely covers the cervix
This condition could result in bleeding during and after the delivery, which is why detecting this is critical to have a smooth delivery.

4. Other factors

The other things that this scan will help check are the amount of amniotic fluid, the length of the birth canal, the position of the umbilical cord, and the blood flow to the womb. It can also detect and pick up certain chromosomal abnormalities in the unborn baby and give the Ob/Gyn a clearer picture in terms of the diagnosis. It will also measure your baby’s size and overall growth.

How Is The Scan Performed?

The TIFFA scan is an ultrasound scan, so the preparations will be quite similar to the other scans you have already had. The best practices are also the same - drink lots of water so that the technician can get clearer images and wear comfortable clothes. You could factor around half an hour to 45 minutes for the scan. This will be an abdominal scan, where the technician will squeeze out a jelly on your abdomen and pass a probe over it to pick up images of your womb and the baby. 

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