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Your doctor has requested that you have an amniocentesis. This brochure will help answer some of the most common questions.

What is an amniocentesis?

An amniocentesis is a sampling of the amniotic fluid in the gestational sac.

Who does the procedure?

Your obstetrician performs the procedure, with assistance from a Radiologist (x-ray doctor).

What preparations must I take before the exam?

The doctors office will provide you with the necessary paperwork if you need any.

What do I do on the day of the test?

Report to the Admitting Office approximately 20 minutes before your scheduled time if you have not been contacted by the Admitting Office. Otherwise, report directly to Radiology.

What happens during the procedure?

Your obstetrician will cleanse your abdomen with an antiseptic soap. He/She will then under ultrasound guidance insert a fine needle into the gestational sac to extract amniotic fluid. Because we use a thin needle for this procedure we have found numbing medication not helpful.

How long does it take?

The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes.

What will I be able to do following the exam?

You should follow the instructions your doctor will give you, which may include bringing your fluid to an offsite laboratory.

Are there complications?

Most women tolerate the exam without difficulty. Following the procedure, the sonographer will do a brief evaluation of your baby to demonstrate fetal movement and heart motion, alleviating any anxiety you may have.