How Much Does a Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound Cost?
A nuchal translucency test measures the amount of fluid that has accumulated under the skin of the fetus and determines whether there is a risk of disorders such as down syndrome or other conditions such as congenital heart defects.
If you are in your tenth to the fourteenth week of pregnancy, your obstetrician-gynecologist may require or suggest that you undergo several laboratory and screening tests to make sure the fetus is in good condition. One of the tests that are highly recommended is the nuchal translucency test. The nuchal fold is found at the base of the neck, and this is where the fluid can collect if there is an abnormal or missing chromosome. This fluid can be seen on an ultrasound, but it may not be visible after 14 weeks since the neck will no longer be translucent.
How much does it cost?
- On average, the complete nuchal translucency test is going to cost $150 to $400 without any health insurance. This will depend on the healthcare facility, your geographical location and if insurance is involved.
- For those who do have a health insurance policy, it is best to talk with your insurance company to see what you are going to be responsible for. You will most likely only be responsible for your deductible or co-pay. Those who either want a new policy or need one in the first place, consider browsing through hundreds for free at eHealthInsurance.com.
- According to Bubhub.com, the cost of the nuchal translucency test is around $285 plus $100 for a blood test. Other facilities cost around $155.
What is going to be included?
- The cost of a nuchal translucency may include the doctor’s fees for interpreting the result, the conduct of the screening process itself, and other related costs.
- A nuchal translucency test includes the measurement of the size of the translucent space behind the neck of the fetus using ultrasound at between 10 and 14 weeks of pregnancy, reflecting the amount of fluid that has accumulated under the skin of the fetus.
- Also called the nuchal fold scan, a nuchal translucency tends to be increased in chromosome disorders such as Turner syndrome and Down syndrome.
- The sonographer first confirms the baby’s gestational age and then positions the sensor or transducer over the abdomen so that the baby’s nuchal fold area shows up on the monitor. The thickness is then measured on the screen using a caliper.
- The procedure will be no different than an ultrasound. The tech will rub a gel on the belly of the patient and rub a transducer over it, producing sound waves and a picture of the baby on a monitor. Via the monitor, the tech will take measurements of the neck, and if the area is larger than normal, this could be an early warning sign of a birth defect such as Down syndrome. The procedure is performed by specialist sonographers that are accredited by the Foetal Medicine Foundation.
- After the procedure, the results will be discussed with the doctor.
What are the extra costs?
- The extra costs may be incurred in case there are additional tests carried out with the nuchal translucency screening test as required by the doctor or when necessary. Blood work will also have to be drawn for this type of test.
- Treatments or medications on the part of the mother may also mean additional costs. This includes regular visits to the OB.
- In case there are problems with the screening or result, a re-test may be required and this will incur additional costs on your end.
- While this test may be given to any pregnant woman, it is especially important for women older than 35 since they are already at a higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities.
Tips to know
- Aside from the ultrasound, blood work can often rule out any birth defects.
- All women, regardless of their age, have a risk of an abnormality with their child. In fact, every expectant mother has a 1 in 100 chance of a chromosomal abnormality. This type of test has been able to identify 80% of all down syndrome cases.
How can I save money?
- If you do not have a health insurance policy, be sure to ask about a cash discount or inquire about payment plans. Most hospitals and doctor’s offices are more than willing to work something out.
- Make sure that you get your nuchal translucency test from a reputable screening center or hospital so that you will be assured of the quality of the test done as well as the accuracy of the interpretation of the result.
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