Northern Ultrasound for Women

COVID-19 Ultrasound Protocol

We are operating as normal but are taking all appropriate precautions and complying with Government COVIDSafe regulations to ensure a safe and healthy environment for patients and staff.

We are screening every patient prior to attending their appointment. Our rooms are sanitised daily with extra cleaning of high touch-point areas. Hand sanitizer and sanitized pens are provided for each patient.

Air purification systems with internal UV-C have been installed in the waiting and ultrasound rooms.

Social distancing is in effect, temperatures are checked on arrival and the wearing of face masks is mandatory by patients and accompanying person while in the waiting room and during appointment.

We have implemented the following protocols:

    • Requesting patients with pre-booked appointments to call ahead of the appointment if experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms - fever (+ 37.5 deg. C), cough or shortness of breath, sore throat, aches and pains, loss of taste or smell (see or have been in contact with another person with known or suspected of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    • Requesting patients to attend the appointment alone or strictly one support person (adult) to attend and for the support person to be free of all COVID-19 symptoms and comply with all screening criteria.
    • Strictly no children under age 16 to attend the appointment.
    • Requesting patients and any support person to wear a face mask, disposable masks will be provided if necessary but it is advised to bring your own face mask.
    • Ensure you have responded to your SMS appointment confirmation as evidence of your appointment, if asked to show evidence by authorities.
    • Support person will be required to provide contact details using our QR Code, to comply with DHHS regulations for the purpose of contact tracing
    • On the day of your appointment, you may be asked to wait outside the waiting room for a short period to comply with social distancing rules.

Our reception staff will be asking screening questions ahead of appointments. We’re confident that patients will understand why they are asked to wear a mask or asked to defer appointments if they are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Our Doctors and Sonographers will be wearing P2/N95 masks as protective equipment.

Northern Ultrasound for Women is not equipped to cater for infection isolation, therefore if you are concerned you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should contact your GP, referring doctor or the emergency department immediately.

Our priority is keeping our patients and staff members safe whilst maintaining the highest standards of ultrasound imaging and service. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact our helpful staff on 9457-1466.

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Northern Ultrasound for Women, Suite 8 Level 2, 8 Martin St,
Heidelberg 3084
Tel 03 9457 1466
Fax 03 9457 1400

Chorionic Villus Sampling

What is it?

A chorionic villus sampling or CVS means sampling of the early placental tissue with a fine needle in order to get diagnostic information about the fetal chromosomes. This test is usually performed at 11 – 14 weeks of pregnancy in order to address concerns about the risk of chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome. Normal results from a CVS will confidently exclude all fetal chromosome abnormalities such as Down syndrome which is the most common known cause of major mental handicap.

Who should have a chorionic villus sampling?

The decision about whether or not to proceed with CVS rests solely with the prospective parents. Women at high risk for fetal chromosomal abnormality are the ones to most often consider CVS. These are for example older women who are 37 years or more, or those who have had high risk results from a first trimester ultrasound or combined biochemical screening test.

CVS can occasionally be used for testing of genetic syndromes such as cystic fibrosis however this application is specifically for those parents with a known family history risk. This usually requires prior genetic counseling and testing of the parents as potential carriers.

How is the test performed?

Prior to a CVS a scan is performed to check that the position of the developing placenta is suitable and that there is safe access for the sampling. A local anesthetic is administered with a fine needle prior to insertion of the sampling needle under ultrasound guidance. Care is taken to avoid the pregnancy sac and the fetus thereby minimizing the risk of amniotic fluid leakage.

Is it safe?

There is a small extra risk of miscarriage generally quoted as 1 in 100. This figure is low considering the background risk of miscarriage that exists for every pregnancy. CVS is therefore considered a safe test and there is no significant risk to the mother from the procedure. As mentioned above this highly specialised procedure is best performed by experts in this field and Dr. Shawn Choong at Northern Ultrasound for Women has extensive experience in prenatal fetal procedures including routine diagnostic testing with CVS.

How to best prepare for a CVS?

Please bring evidence of your blood group. No special preparation is necessary beyond that for a basic ultrasound scan which means attending with a comfortably full bladder. The following is also usually advisable:

  • Bring someone with you who can drive you home afterwards.

  • No heavy lifting for 24 hours after the procedure.

How long do the results take to come back?

The full results on all the detail of the fetal chromosomes is called a full banded karyotype and takes 12 – 14 days usually. This is because the cytogenetics laboratory require this time for the cells to divide and be examined microscopically. Your doctor will receive these results as soon as they are available. An additional test called FISH analysis can produce rapid results and is occasionally advised for extremely high risk cases particularly if the gestation is advanced. This is only 99% accurate and does not however cover the full detail of all the fetal chromosomes therefore the standard CVS testing as above is still carried out regardless of whether a FISH analysis has been requested.