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TIFFA Scan: Its Significance

December 8, 2023

Being pregnant is an experience that nothing else can match up to. Having a baby is a different ball game altogether. Your pregnancy is going to be filled with different emotions. You might have weird cravings, the pregnancy glow that everyone talks about, nausea too, in some cases, but one constant throughout this amazing journey will be the intense care you will feel for your unborn baby.

Book an online appointment with Dr. Saroja Mood for Pregnancy scans.

The nine months of pregnancy will mean protecting your baby, nurturing him or her inside your womb before you finally get to meet them.

One sentiment that your Ob/Gyn will share with you is the need for your well-being as well as the health of your unborn baby. This is precisely why, all through the three trimesters of your pregnancy, you will be asked to undergo a number of tests and scans, some to confirm that everything is alright with you and others to make sure that your baby is growing fine and is healthy.

What Is TIFFA Scan?


TIFFA stands for Targeted Imaging for Fetal Anomalies. As the name suggests, this scan is performed to understand if the baby is growing fine. It is usually performed around the 18th week of pregnancy, and this test measures and reports a number of things.

1. The internal organs of the baby

One of the things that this detailed scan looks for are the organs of the baby like the heart, the brain, lungs and so on. This is done to understand if the organs are formed well and are functioning normally. There are conditions like congenital heart defects, problems with the spinal cord and brain, hernia, gastroschisis - a condition in which the walls of the tummy do not form fully during pregnancy etc. If any of these problems are detected during the scan, your Ob/Gyn would ask you to go for further investigations like a Fetal 2D Echo (for cardiac issues).

2. The external organs of the baby

By the 18th week, your baby has begun rapid growth and several of his or her external features would have developed well. During the TIFFA scan, the technician would also pick up images of your baby external organs and check for the progress of the development of organs such as eyelids, lips, fingers and toes, ears etc. There are common problems like cleft lip that are detected during this scan. If there are any such findings, then the Ob/Gyn will prepare you for the next steps to be taken for the management of the findings.

3. Position of your placenta

The placenta plays a very important part in the nourishment of your baby. The position of the placenta is another factor that is examined during the TIFFA scan. Problems such as placenta previa can have a significant impact during delivery. Placenta previa is when the placenta is in a low position and can be of three types:

-Partial, when the placenta covers just a part of the cervix.

-Marginal, when the placenta is on the edge of the cervix.

-Total, when the placenta completely covers the cervix

This condition could result in bleeding during and after the delivery, which is why, detecting this is critical to have a smooth delivery.

4. Other factors

The other things that this scan will help check are the amount of amniotic fluid, the length of the birth canal, the position of the umbilical cord and the blood flow to the womb. It can also detect and pick up certain chromosomal abnormalities in the unborn baby and give the Ob/Gyn a clearer picture in terms of the diagnosis. It will also measure your baby’s size and overall growth.

How Is The Scan Performed?

The TIFFA scan is an ultrasound scan, so the preparations will be quite similar to the other scans you have already had. The best practices are also the same - drink lots of water so that the technician can get clearer images and wear comfortable clothes. You could factor around half an hour to 45 minutes for the scan. This will be an abdominal scan, where the technician will squeeze out a jelly on your abdomen and pass a probe over it to pick up images of your womb and the baby.

we ensure that all your scans are comfortable and you are kept informed. We believe that no mother-to-be should be made to wait for her turn, which is why, we assure you that you will have your scan at the time given in your appointment. We understand that you would be anxious to know if your baby is healthy and whether the pregnancy is progressing well and that’s why you will hear back from us as soon as we know.

We have everything in place so that you have a stress-free pregnancy and a happy delivery. These scans are just a way of keeping you and your healthy and safe.

The PCPNDT Act prohibits the determination of the gender of the fetus. It is illegal and will not be performed.

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