There are several different diagnostic tools that we use to diagnose issues in your heart and vascular system. Some of these tests look at your cardiac rhythm, while an echocardiogram checks out the chambers and vessels in your heart.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, our team offers state-of-the-art testing and treatments for your heart health. Board-certified cardiologists Dr. Hesham Fakhri and Dr. Abdulghani Saadi are our expert heart and vascular care specialists. They may recommend an echocardiogram when your heart health is suffering.
What’s an echocardiogram used for?
An echocardiogram is basically a detailed ultrasound of your heart. The images that the test produces are made by sound waves, which produce a live picture of how your heart is pumping, including the valves and chambers of your heart.
The main reason that we order an echocardiogram is to identify problems within the chambers or valves of your heart.
If you’re experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, an echocardiogram provides us with detailed information about the overall health of your heart. It can either rule out or confirm that your heart is to blame for your symptoms.
An echocardiogram can also detect cardiac congenital defects before birth.
There are different types of echocardiograms, and the type you need depends on what information we’re looking for.
After the test: What to expect
After the echocardiogram, we let you clean up. To provide a clearer image, we use a gel as we move the wand over your chest. You’ll want to wipe off the gel and then get dressed. Meanwhile, we’re able to review the results immediately after the images are taken.
As long as we don’t instruct you otherwise, you can return to your normal activities right after your test.
If we identify any immediately concerning results, we discuss the next steps with you. We may order more testing or start a treatment plan right away to prevent any further cardiac problems.
Understanding your results
After we examine your echocardiogram results, we prepare a written report of your results.
Your report contains a lot of information, including how your heart moves, its anatomy, and any problems identified through the test. You can also expect a lot of other information in your results report, such as:
- Your heart rate and rhythm
- The size of your heart
- Evaluation of the pericardium
- The overall thickness of your heart
- The function of your ventricles
- Shape and movement of your valves
- Any blood clots or abnormalities
If the imaging reveals any anatomical issues or congenital abnormalities, they’ll also be noted on your results report.
If you’re in need of an echocardiogram or have heart issues, don’t hesitate to call one of our offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, today. You can also request an appointment using our handy online booking tool.