Why You Need an Echocardiogram

The cardiovascular system carries out a vital body function for survival: a healthy heart pumps blood throughout the body via blood vessels. Blood is a medium for transporting oxygen and nourishment to body tissues. Patients need to maintain wellness in the cardiovascular system, including heart and blood vessels, to maintain health and thus perform activities optimally. If you suspect cardiovascular concerns, it would be best to seek medical intervention from a trained physician. Physicians usually conduct comprehensive assessments of a patient’s cardiovascular system, including imaging tests like echocardiogram Upper East Side, to identify the cause of a concern and develop an ideal approach to wellness.

An echocardiogram is an imaging test that doctors perform to monitor heart function and thus detect disease. This diagnostic test is necessary for patients experiencing heart failure symptoms. Physicians can identify the cause of concern and develop an approach to solve any complication and thus preserve heart structure and function through it.

What are the different types of an echocardiogram?

Physicians recommend different types of echocardiograms to help monitor a patient’s heart health. The type of echocardiogram your doctor will recommend depends on your symptoms and the severity of your medical condition. The following are the most common types of echocardiograms available in most health facilities:

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram

This test is similar to an x-ray. However, it does not involve exposing the heart to intense light beams. During this test, a technician will place a transducer on your chest. This hand-held device sends ultrasound waves to your heart, producing an image of the organ on a monitor. Patients do not need to perform particular activities before a transthoracic echocardiogram test. You can eat and take any prescribed medications before the test.

During the test, your physician will ask you to take off any clothing from your waist up and lie on an examination table. The technician performing the test will place electrodes on your chest. An electrocardiograph monitor will take information from these flat, sticky patches on your chest and display your heart’s electrical activity. The next step involves the technician running a sound-wave transducer across your chest. Your physician may apply a special gel on your chest and the transducer to get more explicit heart pictures.

  • Transesophageal echocardiogram

This test is more invasive than a transthoracic echocardiogram because it involves a physician passing a sound-wave transducer through the throat to understand your heart better. It is essential to inform your doctor about any throat concerns that may interfere with the efficacy of the test. Unlike a transthoracic echocardiogram that does not require initial preparation, physicians advise patients not to eat or drink anything at least six hours before a transesophageal echocardiogram. It is essential to inform your doctor about any current medications you are on and follow any guidelines given.

IV infusion is necessary during this test to deliver vital medications. A blood pressure monitor is also essential to help your doctor detect crucial signs during the procedure. Contact Upper East Side Cardiology if you have cardiovascular concerns and schedule an echocardiogram to determine your heart health status.

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