4D scans

At Epsom and St Helier, we use the latest ultrasound technology to enable you to see your baby clearly, and in three dimensions.

Pictures from a 4D scan

An ultrasound scan is a painless and harm-free procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (not radiation) to view images of organs and structures inside your body. It is very commonly used and captures images in real time.

Normal hospital scans generate a 2D (flat), black and white image of your baby in the womb. The capacity of the machine allows us to translate this image into a three dimensional scan, allowing parents to view their unborn child moving in real time. With this technology the baby’s facial expressions can be seen and parents can sometimes even glimpse a smile or their baby sucking their thumb.

You will receive standard ultrasound scans as part of your NHS care, which are used to measure and monitor the progress of your pregnancy. Your NHS scans should not be replaced by a 4D scan.

The 4D scan appointment will last approximately 30 minutes. You will be given a range of photographs on a memory stick to take away, which you can use to make prints as you wish.

How do I book a scan?

You can book a scan by calling the Antenatal Booking Team on 07975 232167.

What will it cost?

A 4D scan and digital copies of the images (which you can print as many times as you like) costs £120.

Are scans always successful?

Sometimes babies lie in certain positions, for example with their face down or towards the spine, which can make it difficult to obtain clear images and may prevent us from finding out the sex of your baby. If this happens we may ask you to have a brief walk or a sweet drink to see if your baby moves. If successful we will rescan you that day. However, if your baby is still in an awkward position, we may ask if you would prefer to book again for another day at your convenience, at no extra charge. We will provide you with any images we may have been able to achieve during the session. Please bear in mind that if you are approaching full term (33 weeks plus) imaging and sex determination become considerably more difficult as the baby is larger and beginning to move into the birthing position.

  • On the day of your scan, please eat about two hours before you arrive with us
  • Please have some cold water approximately 10-20 minutes before the scan, this will hopefully help to get baby moving
  • Please arrive 15 minutes early and have a walk around just to try and get baby to wake up.



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NHS image placement

Healthy Workplace Achievement Award 2016 NHS Choices