Doctors warn of using ultrasounds for entertainment

(KSAT/CNN NEWSOURCE) SAN ANTONIO -- It's a booming baby business -- parents getting a glimpse of their unborn baby through the use of 3-D and 4-D sonograms.

The experience can be exciting, but the practice is not with controversy.

"When people come here they can get that broad family experience," said Brian Salmon, owner of Babyvision. "They can bring up to 10 people with them."

Salmon owns one of several businesses that do elective prenatal ultrasounds.

He said they don't replace the doctor's sonogram, but do limited diagnostics.

Parents can spend $70 to $100 for prenatal portraits and video.

But the Food and Drug Administration and the American College of OBGYN's strongly discourage using the medical device for what they call entertainment purposes.

Dr. Margaret Kelly said it's important to ask the qualifications of the sonographer.

"What training they have, if they do have medical background, to ask the question (of) what if something is seen abnormal in the anatomy, will you tell me? will you notify my doctor?" said Kelly.

"We do not tell the parents anything," said Salmon. "It's not out place to tell them, but it is our place to help out if we can."

Salmon said if staff members spot a concern, their medical director will contact the woman's doctor.

Salmon sees around 200 patients a month in an industry seeing a growth spurt.