Get answers to frequently asked questions at Alaska Family Sonograms.

Can we have pictures or video of our baby?
Absolutely. We have introduced many parents to their unborn child through the use of sonographic images and video. We have now moved into the digital age of imaging and provide you with not only printed images but also a CD containing still frame images and video clips that show your baby moving. These images are compressed to a .jpeg format, making them easy to share with family and friends.

Can the gender of our baby be determined, and when?
The gender of your baby can be determined if requested. The optimal time for this is 18-20 weeks into the pregnancy. However, we do not perform an exam only to determine a baby’s gender. We feel every baby deserves a complete and thorough sonogram.

Does this exam have to be ordered by my physician/healthcare provider?
Yes. There must be a medical reason to submit an insurance, Medicaid, etc. claim for this exam. However, if you wish to have an elective sonogram to check your baby and there is no medical reason, you will need the approval of your physician/healthcare provider, and you will need to pay for this exam yourself. This type of elective exam cannot be submitted to your insurance, Medicaid, etc.

Do I need a referral from my provider for a 3D/4D exam of my baby?
3D/4D exams do not require a referral from your healthcare provider but you must have had your 18-20 week (often called rule-out anomaly or anatomy scan) exam prior to your 3D/4D exam.

Does Alaska Family Sonograms only perform obstetric ultrasound exams?
No. At AFS, we are a fully capable medical ultrasound diagnostics practice. Our sonographers are well trained, well credentialed and highly experienced in the ultrasound evaluation of a wide range of problems affecting various parts of the anatomy. From the thyroid gland and carotid artery in the neck to the sensitive organs of the abdomen and pelvis, doctors have relied on us for diagnostic excellence through ultrasound for more than 15 years. And their patients routinely count on us for the understanding, sensitivity, support and compassion that have helped us become the choice of so many for thorough, accurate exams and reliable results.

What should I do to prepare for my ultrasound exam?
Ultrasound exams do not require any prep, and the best universal advice is to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. Below are some specific prep instructions by type of exam, but we’ll always let you know what is required of you ahead of your appointment. But we certainly welcome your inquiries, should you have any questions. Simply call 907-885-0390.

How do I prepare for an obstetric ultrasound?
For this exam, you need a partially filled bladder. Drink two 8-ounce glasses of water (must be noncarbonated) 30 minutes before your appointment. Do not empty your bladder after drinking.

How do I prepare for a gynecologic or pelvic ultrasound exam?
This exam requires a partially filled bladder. Thirty minutes before the exam, drink two 8-ounce glasses of water, and don’t empty your bladder until after the exam.

How do I prepare for a biophysical profile sonogram?
For this exam, it’s important for the baby to be awake and moving. So eat 20 minutes before your appointment.

How do I prepare for an ultrasound of the abdomen?
Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours prior to your appointment.

How do I prepare for renal ultrasound?
Forty-five minutes prior to your appointment, drink three 8-ounce glasses of water. Unlike some other exams, you’re free to empty your bladder as needed.

How will my exam results get to my referring physician?
Because all diagnostic exams are important to helping your doctor make informed decisions, we hand-deliver all ultrasound exam reports to referring physicians the following business day after your exam. While this is faster than is typical of many ultrasound providers, we actually provide results to your doctor even more quickly if there is a significant finding. In other words, if we encounter something serious or urgent, we will call your doctor immediately. Either way, your doctor gets your exam results quickly, and we handle it all.

Are there any risks involved in having an ultrasound exam?
No. Ultrasound is merely an effective way to “see” inside the body and examine important anatomy without an invasive procedure. Unlike other medical imaging modalities, ultrasound (sonography) does not use radiation, radio waves or magnetic fields. Instead, ultrasound works much like sonar, using high-frequency sound waves that produce echoes. As those echoes travel back through different tissues at different rates, a computer converts those differing rates into different tissue representations onscreen. This allows us to see structures… while exposing your body only to harmless sound waves.

For more information or answers to your other questions, call Alaska Family Sonograms at 907-885-0390. You can also schedule an appointment by calling, or you may request an appointment using our easy online form.