Get to Know How Healthy Your Heart is Through an Echocardiogram Test

Your heart plays a significant role in ensuring that oxygen-rich blood is in active circulation throughout your body.  Unfortunately, a heart problem or condition affecting your heart’s blood vessels will affect your heart’s health. In such a case, you will need to contact your doctor for an echocardiogram. Port Saint Lucie echocardiogram experts use echocardiogram tests to evaluate the valves, chambers, and blood vessels in your heart to check for abnormalities.

Why would your doctor perform an echocardiogram?

Your doctor will request an echocardiogram when he wants to:

  •         Check for the existence of various heart diseases
  •         Follow the progression of a valve disease
  •         Assess your heart’s overall function
  •         Detect congenital heart disease 

What should you expect during an echocardiogram test?

Before the test begins, your doctor will explain to you the whole procedure in detail. He will then request you to undress halfway (from your waist up) and lie on an examination bed. Your physician will then place electrodes (sticky patches) on your chest to help to analyze your heart’s electrical activity. Your doctor will attach the electrodes to an electrocardiograph monitor, where the monitor will record your heart’s electrical currents.

The physician will request you to lie on your left side at some point during the test. While on your side, he will use a sound-wave transducer to chart your heart’s sound-wave echoes. Your doctor will apply gel to the hand-held transducer to improve the recording quality. The sonographer will request you to shift position several times during the test to take images of your heart’s different areas. He may also ask you to breathe in a particular way.

An echocardiogram is painless, and you will not feel any discomfort during the test. However, you will feel some coolness resulting from the gel your doctor will apply on the transducer.

If the test comes out normal, your physician will not request any other test. However, if the results are worrying, your doctor will recommend several other tests to check your heart’s health.  

How many types of echocardiogram tests will your doctor recommend?

There are various types of tests and the type of echocardiogram you need extensively depends on what information your doctor wants to know. The tests include:

  •         Stress echocardiogram. Some of your heart problems only happen during physical activities. However, the test cannot check for blockages in your heart’s arteries. Therefore, your doctor will request the test immediately after strenuous activity. If you are unable to exercise, your doctor will give you an injection to make your heart pump fast.
  •         Doppler echocardiogram. The test checks for blood flow issues and pressure in your heart’s arteries which an ultrasound may fail to detect. Your doctor will also use a Doppler echocardiogram to determine your blood flow speed and direction.
  •         Transesophageal echocardiogram. Your physician will use a transesophageal echocardiogram if he wants a detailed image or finds it impossible to get a clear picture of your heart. During the test, your doctor will guide a flexible tube connected to a transducer down your throat.
  •         Transthoracic echocardiogram. During this standard echocardiogram test, your doctor applies gel on a transducer and presses it firmly on different areas of your heart to record your heart’s sound wave echoes.

Your heart plays a significant role in pumping blood to all your body organs. Contact the experts at TLC Medical Group today and learn how you can benefit from an echocardiogram test.