Types of Echocardiograms and Why You Need One

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There are different types of echocardiograms, and you can benefit from one of them. An echocardiogram is a medical test that shows your heart’s movements. Tomball echocardiograms are useful in detecting any abnormal functioning of your heart. You should schedule a consultation so that your doctor can establish if your heart is healthy.

Symptoms of cardiovascular problems

  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Cold sweats

Heart conditions that echocardiograms can detect:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiac tumors

Types of echocardiograms

The types of echocardiograms differ in the technique that specialists use to conduct the test. Depending on the type of echocardiography you will undergo, you will receive preparation instructions before the test.

Transthoracic echocardiogram

A transthoracic echocardiogram is a non-invasive test performed by a sonographer. Your sonographer will place electrodes on your chest and apply a special gel to specific areas on your chest. Then, they will use a transducer that produces sound waves and receives their echoes once they reflect off your body’s internal structures.

The reflected sound waves will be converted into electrical signals and into detailed movements of your heart. After the test is over, your cardiologist will interpret the results. Sometimes, if there is no clear view of your heart, your sonographer might use a contrasting dye to improve visualization.  

Transesophageal echocardiogram

When you are not a great candidate for the transthoracic echocardiogram, your cardiologist might ask you to do a transesophageal echocardiogram. It involves your sonographer placing electrodes on your chest. The electrodes are connected to an electrocardiograph monitor.

You will have a pulse oximeter and blood pressure attached to your body to monitor your vitals. You will be placed under a local anesthetic to numb your throat. While lying on your left side, your sonographer will pass a thin and flexible endoscope down your throat.

Once the device is in place, your sonographer will adjust the transducer on the endoscope and take images of your heart.

Stress echocardiogram

Although electrocardiograms are usually conducted when you are at rest, specialists argue that sometimes symptoms can only show when you are active. In this test, your sonographer will record your heart’s movements as you exercise.

Doppler echocardiogram

While the above tests check your heart’s movements, the Doppler Effect measures your heart’s blood flow rate and direction.

Benefits of getting an echocardiogram

One of the primary benefits of having echocardiograms is detecting cardiovascular diseases early. Apart from knowing how your heart is fairing, you can benefit through close monitoring by your cardiologist. The following are the most common benefits you can receive:

  • Monitoring the safety and effectiveness of treatments
  • The tests are non-invasive; hence no risk of open wound or infection

You can take measures to improve your heart’s health status. Ensure to eat healthy food and follow an exercise routine that promotes heart health.

If you experience any cardiovascular issues or symptoms, visit Cardiovascular Institute P.A. for personalized cardiology services like echocardiograms. Meet and experience qualified cardiologists that can help you get to the root of the problem. Call or book an appointment online today.

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