Frequently Asked Questions
What is Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is a diagnostic procedure in which the amniotic fluid surrounding the fetus is collected from the mother's uterus with the help of a fine-needle guided with ultrasound instrument. This procedure is often recommended by the doctor to check the developing baby for the presence of certain kinds of defects or genetic disorders which may affect the development of the baby.
What are the advantages of Amniocentesis?
The following are the advantages of Amniocentesis:
- Early detection of chromosomal abnormalities like Edwards syndrome, Downs syndrome, etc
- Detection of genetic diseases like sickle-cell disease, cystic fibrosis, etc
- Detection of developmental defects of organs and spinal cord like Spina bifida (spinal cord exposed outside vertebral column), etc
- Check the fetus for Rh disease, Organ maturity (lungs, heart) of the fetus for early delivery
What are the indications of Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is recommended by the doctor under the following conditions such as:
- Abnormal triple test results like alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), Human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) and Estriol
- Fetal abnormalities found on ultrasound scan
- Pregnant women of 35 years of age or older
- History of previous childbirths with developmental defects
- Family history of genetic defects or diseases
- Use of medicines that may affect fetal development
What is the preparation for Amniocentesis?
Before undergoing Amniocentesis, the following preparation is needed:
- Discuss with the doctor about all the risks, complications, and benefits associated with Amniocentesis
- Before undergoing this procedure, the patient should inform past and present medical and medication history to the doctor
- The patient may be asked to sign a consent form before undergoing this procedure
- The patient must inform the doctor about current medicine prescriptions or any known allergies towards anesthetics, latex, etc
- The patient will be suggested to empty the bladder a few hours before the procedure to avoid puncturing the bladder with the amniocentesis needle
What are the steps involved in Amniocentesis?
The following are the steps involved in Amniocentesis:
- The patient is directed to lie on the back and the abdomen region is exposed
- With the help of an ultrasound instrument, the exact location of the fetus will be known by the doctor
- Once the location of the baby is known; the doctor will determine the site of the needle insertion
- The needle insertion site will be sterilized with an antiseptic and a fine needle will be inserted into the uterus through the abdominal wall while monitoring the needle location with the help of ultrasound
- A local anesthetic may or may not be used by the doctor and the patient may experience slight discomfort during needle insertion
- Once the desired amount of fluid is collected, the needle is removed and the collected sample will be sent for further laboratory analysis in a sterile container
- The site of needle insertion will be covered with a sterile bandage
What is the postprocedure care/recovery care for Amniocentesis?
- The patient is recommended to avoid activities like bending over or lifting heavy weights for at least 24-48 hours after the procedure
- The patient must consult the doctor immediately if cramps, bleeding or leakage of fluid from the site of needle insertion is seen
- The patient may feel a bit dizzy, nauseated or light headed after the procedure
- Report to the doctor immediately if the patient develops fever or chills or severe abdominal cramps
Who can perform Amniocentesis [Right specialist type for Amniocentesis]?
Amniocentesis can be performed by an Obstetric Surgeon or a Gynecologist who is well experienced in performing an amniocentesis procedure.
What is the cost of Amniocentesis?
Cost of Amniocentesis depends on factors such as:
- Admission fee
- Doctor fee
- Age of the patient
- The medical condition of the patient
- Post-surgical complications that are involved
- Type of hospital
- The admission room that you opted for
- Any other lab tests or examination tests such as X-ray, ECG, etc
Minimum cost in Bangalore for Amniocentesis starts from Rs.15,000
Average expenses in Bangalore for Amniocentesis is approximately Rs.24,000
Maximum amount to be paid in Bangalore for Amniocentesis rises up to Rs.35,000
Is Amniocentesis a major procedure or minor procedure?
Amniocentesis can either be a major or a minor procedure depending on the diagnosis and the health condition of the patient.
What is the eligibility criteria for Amniocentesis?
Individuals eligible for amniocentesis are:
- Pregnancy between 15-18 weeks
- Pregnant women of ages 35 years or older
- Individuals with an increased risk of developing fetal disorders
- Abnormal prenatal test results
- Parental and familial history of genetic or chromosomal defects
- Parents with genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis or sickle-cell disease
What is the ineligibility criteria for Amniocentesis?
Individuals who are not eligible for amniocentesis are:
- Individuals with pregnancy less than 14 weeks
- Individuals with Rh disease (Blood group of the mother is different than the child)
- A pregnant individual with active infection or diseases
- Individuals with normal fetal screening test results
- No previous or family history of genetic or developmental diseases
What are the risks and complications associated with Amniocentesis?
Very few risks and complications are associated with amniocentesis and they are as follows:
- Risk of miscarriages or spontaneous abortion (very rare)
- Risk of uterine infections
- Puncture and leakage of fluid from the puncture site
- Bleeding from the site of needle insertion
- Rh sensitization and breakdown of fetal blood cells
- Cramping or minor irritation at the needle insertion site
How long does it take to complete Amniocentesis?
It takes around 5 to 10 minutes to collect the fluid sample. However, Amniocentesis would take an overall time of 30-45 minutes to complete.
What is the success rate of Amniocentesis?
Amniocentesis is a diagnostic procedure used to test for the genetic makeup and any developmental disorders associated with fetal development. The success rate of this test depends on the following factors:
- Condition of the sample collected
- Age of the patient
- Experience of the doctor
- The medical condition of the patient
Is Amniocentesis painful?
The patient won't be experiencing any pain during the procedure as a local or a general anesthetic would be given. However, after the procedure, the patient may feel mild-to-moderate pain or discomfort.
Is Amniocentesis permanent?
Amniocentesis is just a fetal screening procedure performed to collect amniotic fluid from the uterus and is not a permanent procedure.
What are the long-term results of Amniocentesis?
Few of the long term results of amniocentesis include:
- Evaluation of the health condition of the fetus
- Early screening and detection of genetic and chromosomal abnormalities
- Decreased chances of complications in child development
- Preparation for preterm delivery of the child, etc
Can Amniocentesis be detected in future?
Amniocentesis procedure cannot be detected in the future as the needle insertion sites often heal without any scars.