Cardiologists near Phoenix frequently use imaging procedures to help them in the diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions. An echocardiogram is one such diagnostic procedure that can provide invaluable information regarding the structure of the heart and problems with it. If your heart doctor has determined that you should undergo an echocardiogram, the following questions and answers can help you better understand the process and benefits of this procedure.
How Does an Echocardiogram Work?
An echocardiogram is typically a noninvasive procedure. This test relies on the use of sound waves that, when introduced into the chest cavity, can create pictures of the heart as it contracts and moves blood to the rest of the body. During this test, the heart doctor may look for signs of structural abnormalities, such as poorly functioning valves or misshapen chambers.
Who Requires an Echocardiogram?
Because an echocardiogram can show the heart functioning in real time, it is a common procedure for individuals who have been diagnosed with or are suspected to have structural heart disease. If your heart doctor has determined that you have a leaky heart valve, or if he thinks you might suffer from another problem that is affecting the structure of your heart, he can use an echocardiogram to confirm his initial diagnosis. This test can also reveal if prior treatment has been successful in alleviating structural heart issues.
What do you Need to do for an Echocardiogram?
Many people are surprised to find how simple and comfortable echocardiograms can be. It typically takes 60 minutes or less from start to completion, and you normally can return to your everyday activities once it is finished. If you are given any medication during your procedure, you may need a friend or family member to drive you home. Otherwise, this convenient procedure requires no extensive preparation.
Cardiac Solutions uses the most advanced imaging procedures to provide our patients with the most precise diagnoses and effective treatment options. If you have questions about an upcoming echocardiogram, call us at (623) 876-8816. You can also go to our website for information on our diagnostic and treatment procedures for heart disease.