Amniocentesis is performed in our office using our high resolution ultrasound.  A complete ultrasound is always performed in preparation for the amniocentesis.  A pocket of amniotic fluid is identified that clear of the fetus and the umbilical cord.  Once the pocket is identified, the area on the mothers belly just above the pocket of fluid is cleaned with betadine solution to prevent infection.  A thin needle is then advanced under ultrasound guidance into the pocket of fluid and a syringe is attached to the end.  20 to 30 cc of amniotic fluid is then drawn out of the pocket of fluid.  The needle is then removed.


The entire procedure usually takes about 45 seconds.  Most of the time needed is due to the time it takes to fill up the syringe, since it is a thin needle.  Contrary to popular belief, we do not insert the needle through the belly button (umbilicus).  This area is specifically avoided.  The spot where the needle is inserted is the spot where it is safest, so it varies depending on positioning of baby, umbilical cord, and placenta. Amniocentesis is usually well tolerated by patients.  A small amount of cramping during and after the procedure is common but resolves.


Following the procedure, we ask patients to refrain from significant physical activity for 24 hours.  Additionally, we advise patients to refrain from intercourse and exercise (more than walking) for three days.  Things to watch out for include vaginal bleeding, leaking of clear fluid from the vagina, fever, chills, heavy or persistent cramping.  Patients with these symptoms are asked to call our office for instructions and follow up.  About one percent (1 in 100) will have some leaking or bleeding.  In the majority of these circumstances, these symptoms resolve.

*Please call us for inquiries and appointments (858) 794-7700