What Is an Echocardiogram?

Since your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, it should be monitored fairly often. If you’re young and don’t suffer any heart-related symptoms, your heart is probably beating just fine. If you’re older than 50 and are at risk of developing a heart condition, you may be scheduled for an echocardiogram . This is a test that uses sound waves to create a detailed image of the heart.  


When is the test necessary?
It’s important to visit a cardiologist if your heart causes you any discomfort. If your cardiologist suspects that you have a problem with your heart valves or chambers, he may order an echocardiogram or ultrasound of your heart.  Echocardiograms can help  detect a wide range of heart problems , including heart murmurs, infection around the heart valves, damage to the heart muscles, and pulmonary hypertension. There are no special considerations to take when preparing for the test.

What happens during the test?
On the day of the test, you should place moisturizer on your skin; you will take off your clothes from the waist up and lie on the exam table. The sonographer will place electrodes on your chest to monitor your heartbeat. Next, the sonographer will place a transducer on your ribs and begin the test in earnest. Simply follow the sonographer’s directions, and the test will be over before long. 

What do the results mean?
Once the sonographer completes the echocardiogram, your cardiologist read the echocardiogram. You will be scheduled for a follow-up visit to go over the results.

An echocardiogram is the first step toward heart treatment. If you suspect that you have a heart condition, visit one of the Phoenix-area cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions. We offer a number of diagnostic tests, including EKGs. Call (623) 208-5305 to set up an appointment, or  visit our website  to learn more about our locations in Glendale, Peoria, Sun City West, and Avondale.

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