Genetic amniocentesis is a procedure offered at Tallahassee Perinatal Consultants for diagnosis of certain genetic disorders, chromosome abnormalities, or specific birth defects. It is generally performed after 15 weeks of pregnancy. You may be offered an amniocentesis if you will be 35 or older at the time of delivery, if birth defects are seen on ultrasound, or if screening tests return with an abnormal result. The results of amniocentesis will show the baby’s chromosomes, which can diagnose or exclude conditions such as Down syndrome.
The amniocentesis procedure is done with ultrasound guidance, so that a pocket of fluid away from the baby can be found. The amniotic fluid, which surrounds the baby during the pregnancy, contains skin cells shed by the baby. A small sample of the fluid is taken through a thin needle, which does not touch the baby, and the fluid is sent to a laboratory for testing. There is a small risk with amniocentesis; probably less than 1 out of 750 procedures performed may result in miscarriage.