An echocardiogram gives your Arlington, TX, cardiologist, Dr. Atif Sohail of Heart & Sleep Clinics of America, important information about your heart health. The test isn't painful and only takes an hour or less.
When is an echocardiogram needed?
Your heart doctor uses an echocardiogram to diagnose or monitor heart problems, evaluate the function and pumping ability of your heart, assess the size and thickness of your heart, check the condition of valves, or monitor your heart after surgeries. They might order the test to help determine if a heart condition is the reason you've been experiencing shortness of breath, swelling in your legs, chest pain or pressure, fatigue, or other symptoms.
The test uses high-frequency, ultrasound waves to produce images of the chambers and valves of your heart. While looking at the real-time images, your cardiologist can watch how well your heart pumps blood and view the valves and other parts of your heart.
What happens during an echocardiogram?
Before the echocardiogram starts, a technician will place sticky electrodes on your chest. These electrodes make it possible to monitor your heart rhythm during the test. They will also apply a special gel to your skin that helps the transducer produce clear images of your heart. The transducer is a handheld device that emits ultrasound waves. During the echocardiogram, the technician moves the transducer back and forth across your chest.
The echocardiogram technician may ask you to change your position periodically to ensure that all areas of the heart are examined during the test or may request that you hold your breath from time to time.
Although you may feel a little pressure when the transducer is placed on your chest, you won't notice any pain. As soon as the echocardiogram is over, you can immediately resume your normal activities.
After your cardiologist receives the results of the echocardiogram, they'll review the findings with you in our Arlington, TX, office and recommend appropriate treatments if needed.
Echocardiograms help you protect your heart. Call your cardiologist in Arlington, TX, Dr. Sohail of Heart & Sleep Clinics of America, at (817) 419-7220 to schedule an appointment if you have a heart condition or are concerned about a possible heart issue.