An echocardiogram is a painless test that uses ultrasound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. The test is also called an echo. The tests can diagnose many heart conditions and assess the heart’s function. A specialist can recommend an echocardiogram Upper East Side if they suspect you might have a heart problem.
“An echocardiogram can evaluate the size and shape of your heart and assess how well your heart valves are working. The test can also be used to determine if the walls of your heart are thickening or if you have fluid buildup around your heart.”
You will lie on your left side or sit upright in a chair during an echocardiogram. A gel will be spread over your chest, and a hand-held device called a transducer would be placed on the gel. The transducer sends ultrasonic sound waves that bounce off your heart and create echoes. These echoes are transmitted to a computer, which converts them into moving images of your heart.
An echocardiogram can evaluate the size and shape of your heart and assess how well your heart valves are working. The test can also be used to determine if the walls of your heart are thickening or if you have fluid buildup around your heart.
An echocardiogram performed can be used to detect various abnormalities such as:
1. An Enlarged Heart
This abnormality can be caused by many conditions, such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. An enlarged heart can lead to heart failure because the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Your doctor will be able to see if your heart is enlarged by looking at the size of the chambers and comparing them to normal values.
Stenosis is a condition in which the openings of the valves or arteries are narrowed. This narrowing can restrict blood flow and cause problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness. Your doctor will be able to see if you have stenosis by looking at the size of the valve openings and comparing them to normal values.
Regurgitation is a condition in which blood leaks back through the valves instead of flowing forward. It can happen when the valves are damaged or not working properly.
Your doctor will be able to see if you have regurgitation by looking for turbulent flow in the valves or arteries.
4. Blood Clots
Blood clots can form in the heart and travel to other body parts, such as the brain, lungs, and kidneys. Clots can cause stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Your doctor will be able to see if you have a blood clot by looking for an obstruction in blood flow.
An aneurysm is a bulge in an artery or heart valve wall. An aneurysm can rupture and cause life-threatening bleeding. Your doctor will be able to see if you have an aneurysm by looking for a bulge in the blood vessel or heart valve.
6. Pulmonary Embolism
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that lodges in the lungs. Pulmonary embolisms can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and even death. Your doctor will be able to see if you have a pulmonary embolism by looking for an obstruction in the flow of blood to the lungs.
If you suspect that you have any of the stated abnormalities, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor at Upper East Side Cardiology and schedule an appointment for an echocardiogram. Echo will help confirm the diagnosis and allow your doctor to develop the best treatment plan for you.