WHAT IS AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM?
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure that uses an ultrasound to evaluate your heart muscle and heart valves. The procedure uses sound waves to produce pictures of the chambers, valves, walls and blood vessels of your heart. A transducer is placed on your chest that generates sound waves originating from the heart and echo back to the probe. Such waves are converted into images displayed on a computer screen. An echocardiogram uses different types of echocardiography including M-mode echocardiography, Doppler echocardiography, color Doppler, 2-D and 3-D echocardiography.
WHY IS AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM PERFORMED?
An echocardiogram might be performed to check for blood clots, regurgitation, stenosis, problems with the heart valves and chambers, detect congenital heart problems, and check the size, shape, and thickness of the heart and its pumping strength.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCEDURE?
You will be asked to wear comfortable clothing on the day of the test. You will have to lie on a table and small electrodes will be placed on your chest. The electrodes are connected to an echocardiograph machine that keeps track of your heartbeat. A lubricating gel will be applied on your chest to prevent friction when the ultrasound transducer is rubbed. The transducer generates sound waves originating from the heart and echo back to the probe. Such waves are converted into images displayed on a computer screen to allow the doctor to check for heart problems.
HOW LONG IS THE PROCEDURE?
An echocardiogram normally takes between 40 and 60 minutes.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU HAVE AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM?
For mild regurgitation with normal heart function and shape, an annual cardiac check-up and an echocardiogram is recommended every few years. Those with moderate regurgitation without signs will have a physical examination and an echocardiogram once a year.
ECHOCARDIOGRAM AT MANHATTAN MEDICAL ARTS
Manhattan Medical Arts is equipped with state-of-the-art ultrasound unit where screenings for a wide range of conditions are offered. If you would like a consultation with one of our Board Certified Physicians, please call Manhattan Medical Arts at 645-454-9000.