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All About Echocardiograms

Five Things Before First Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is one of the most common procedures related to heart health. An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound that makes use of high-pitched sound waves sent through a transducer. This device picks up any echoes that bounce off different portions of the heart. These very same echoes are transformed into pictures of your heart.

Distinct Types of Echocardiograms

There are currently four different types of echocardiograms in use throughout healthcare facilities. The four types include:

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) – This is the most common type of echocardiogram. Images are obtained by reading echoes from the transducer, which is moved to various locations along the chest or abdominal wall.
  • Stress echocardiogram – During this particular form of echocardiogram, the heart is tested both before and after undergoing a stress test through exercise or an injection. The test is designed to determine whether decreased blood flow is an issue.
  • Doppler echocardiogram – This echocardiogram is used to determine how blood flows through the chambers, valves, and vessels of the heart. The movement of the blood reflects sound waves, which are registered on a nearby computer to measure direction and speed.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) – A probe is sent down the esophagus instead of on the outside of the chest. TEE presents a clearer picture of the heart, as the probe is closer to the actual organ. You’ll be administered a sedative an anesthetic.

Why Is It Done?

Your doctor may suggest undergoing an echocardiogram if any heart-related issues are suspected with the valves or chambers. Patients like yourself often experience shortness of breath or chest pain. An echocardiogram will help determine the cause of such symptoms.

Furthermore, an echocardiogram may help determine congenital heart defects in unborn children.

Contact Us

To schedule a consultation, contact Brookhaven Heart by calling 631-654-3278. In fact, we’ll help you lead a better life by determining what ails your heart!