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Amniocentesis

What is Amniocentesis?

Amniocentesis is a procedure that involves removing a small amount of amniotic fluid from the sac surrounding your developing baby.  It is usually performed during the second trimester of pregnancy.  Most women report only minor discomfort during the procedure.

A needle is inserted through the mother's abdomen into the uterus with the guidance of an ultrasound.  The amniotic fluid is then tested for chromosomal abnormalities, which result in conditions such as Down syndrome and neural tube defects like spina bifida.

To make sure patients are as comfortable and relaxed as possible, you are welcome to bring headphones and music to listen to during the procedure.  Our office also has headphones available for use. 

A very small (.06 percent) risk of miscarriage is associated with amniocentesis.  The decision to undergo an amniocentesis will be made only after you have discussed the risks and benefits with our genetic counselor and physician.

It takes approximately 10 days to receive test results after the amniocentesis.  If a fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) test is performed at the same time, these results will be available within 48 - 72 hours.  We will contact you directly with the test results.

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