Your heart is pumping non-stop, maintaining your blood flow – or in other words, keeping you alive every second of the day. Ensuring that your heart stays in perfect health is the least we can do to help you live a long and fulfilling life.
Our experts at Manhattan Medical Arts include world-class, board-certified cardiologists – who diligently work everyday to provide preventive care, as well as cure for any forthcoming or unmasked heart disease.
What is an Echocardiogram?
The very commonly known ultrasound is the most basic yet highly useful imaging modality that helps us identify any irregularities in your body’s anatomical structures.
Similarly, an Echocardiogram, also known as an “echo”, is a type of an ultrasound, where the ultrasound machine captures the image of your heart through sonic waves. Unlike an X-Ray or a CT scan, there is no use of radioactive rays in it. An echocardiogram can be done through different routes; transesophageal echocardiogram, transthoracic echocardiogram, and intravascular echocardiogram.
It is an immensely useful diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of several heart problems, especially the structural heart conditions, i.e. any problem with the musculature or the anatomy of the heart.
What is the Procedure for an
Echocardiogram testing is a very simple outpatient procedure. It is a painless and non-invasive test that has no reported side effects. The principle of an echocardiogram is the same for all types of echocardiogram tests, however, the procedure varies for the different routes it takes to get an echo of the heart.
The most common type of echocardiogram is the transthoracic echocardiogram (TEE). For this, the patient will be asked to lay down on the examination table and, with the help of an ultrasound probe or the transducer placed on the chest, a two dimensional image of the heart is obtained on the screen. The probe is manipulated in different planes in order to get the desired image of the heart.
For transesophageal echocardiogram, the probe is sent down the esophagus or the food pipe via an endoscope, through which images of the heart are obtained.
Another kind of echocardiogram is the stress echo. In stress echocardiogram, the functional status of the heart is seen, whereby, the heart at rest is imaged, and then the patient is asked to run on a treadmill. An ultrasound is then performed after the exercise.
If a patient is unable to exercise on a treadmill, then stress on the heart can be induced with the help of a medicine, this is the dobutamine stress echo. An ultrasound of the heart is done before and after giving dobutamine.
As the name suggests, in intravascular echo, an ultrasound of the heart is done via insertion of the transducer in the vessels of the heart.
Purpose of an Echocardiogram
An echocardiogram is a vital diagnostic tool. It aids the physicians in the detection of structural anomalies of the heart, such as:
- The valves of the heart
- Blockage of vessels of the heart
- Size of the heart
- Weakness or strength of the muscles of the heart
- Aorta related diseases
A stress echocardiogram helps the health care professionals in evaluating the activity of the cardiac muscle when stress is applied to it. Moreover, how long the heart works under duress, if anything dysfunctional happens to the heart walls, and valves during the time of exercise. It helps in early detection of myocardial disease, and the health of the heart.
How to Prepare for an
EMG NCS Test?
As the test requires exposure to the chest, the patient is advised to wear comfortable and loose clothes. It is essential that the patient remains in touch with their doctor to ensure if there are any prescriptions or other medications that they must stop taking before the test. You must not eat or drink at least two hours before the Echo.
During the examination, three patches of electrodes will be placed at different parts of the chest. These electrodes, while connected to a monitor during the exam, will provide accurate information on the electrical activity of the heart throughout the exam. The patient will be asked to lie down on their left side to provide easy access to the sonographer who will place ultrasound transducers on the patient’s body to get clear images of different parts of the heart. Since the echocardiogram is a day care test, you will be done within 30-40 minutes.
Echocardiogram Testing at
Manhattan Medical Arts:
At Manhattan Medical Arts, we are always striving to provide the best of medical care and topnotch facilities to all our patients, equally and efficiently. Our advanced ultrasound machines and techniques help with better diagnosis and early detection of cardiac issues.
Our team of board certified cardiologists are always willing to help you walk through the procedure or address any of your concerns. Call us at 646-454-9000 to book an appointment or get in touch online.
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