Advanced Cardiovascular Consultants
Cardiologists located in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, & West Palm Beach, FL
Every year, 610,000 Americans die as a result of heart disease, which makes getting proper treatment extremely important if you have a cardiac health issue. Fortunately, Jyoti Mohanty, MD, Narayn Pillai, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Suneet Kukreja, MD, Matthew Klein, MD, and the team at Advanced Cardiovascular Consultants provide high-quality echocardiograms to track the health of your heart. If you think you’ve been experiencing symptoms of heart disease or would like to learn more about the uses of echocardiograms, call the office in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, or Jupiter, Florida, or schedule an appointment online today.
Echocardiogram Q & A
What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test that evaluates the structures of your heart and the direction of blood flow within it.
Your heart is made up of four chambers and four valves. These structures are integral to the proper functioning of your heart. Any damage might cause the heart muscles to beat in an uncoordinated fashion, leading to improper blood flow throughout your body.
There are multiple types of echocardiograms, including:
Your Advanced Cardiovascular Consultants provider places a transducer directly on your chest wall for a transthoracic echocardiogram. This allows sound waves to bounce from your heart to the transducer and directly to the computer.
If you’re getting a transesophageal echocardiogram, your provider places a small tube that connects your throat to your stomach. This allows sound waves to come out much clearer and unobstructed by your ribs, muscles, and chest wall. You’ll need an anesthetic for this test.
A stress echocardiogram is performed after you’ve exercised. Your provider takes an image of your blood flow through a transducer placed directly on your chest wall.
You may experience shortness of breath and chest pain during an echocardiogram. In most cases, this is related to the physical exercise required to perform the test.
As sound waves bounce off blood cells, they change pitch. These pitch changes are called Doppler signals. Monitoring the signals in your body with a Doppler echocardiogram can help your provider at Advanced Cardiovascular Consultants measure the speed and direction of the blood flow in your heart.
What is an echocardiogram used for?
Echocardiograms are used to diagnose heart problems. In some cases, echocardiograms are also essential in monitoring the process of your pre-existing treatment, its changes and improvements, and the potential need for further testing.
Echocardiograms can also determine:
- The size of your heart
- Damaged heart muscles
- Heart valve complications
- Structural deficiencies of the heart
- Blood clots and tumors
Echocardiograms additionally test for coronary artery disease (CAD), which is damage or disease in your heart’s major blood vessels, and track abnormalities in your heartbeat’s rhythm.
What are the risks of an echocardiogram?
Transthoracic echocardiograms do not pose any risks, though you may feel some discomfort when your provider removes the electrodes placed on your chest.
Transesophageal echocardiograms can leave you sore for a few hours after the procedure.
A stress echocardiogram poses risks related to exercise, including shortness of breath, chest pain, or an irregular heartbeat.
Call the team at Advanced Cardiovascular Consultants or book an appointment online to learn more about what echocardiograms can do for you.
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