Echocardiogram in New Hyde Park, NY
At Brookhaven Heart, our team of expert cardiologists relies on proven modern technology and techniques to diagnose and understand your condition. We regularly use a number of different echocardiograms to take images of the heart and identify any potential issues in the way the muscle beats and pumps blood.
To perform a transthoracic echocardiogram, a noninvasive ultrasound procedure, your physician will spread a gel over your chest and use a probe to obtain an image of your heart. Through a transthoracic echocardiogram, your doctor can view and evaluate:
- Structural abnormalities
- Fluid around your heart
- Valve abnormalities
- Your heart’s ability to pump blood
The procedure usually lasts about 30 minutes, and we typically return your results on the day of your test.
Trans Esophageal Echocardiogram
In some cases, especially if you might have holes in your heart, small clots, or valve problems, your physician may order a more detailed echocardiogram procedure known as a transesophageal echocardiogram. For this type of echocardiogram, your doctor will place a probe through your esophagus to get a more comprehensive look at your heart.
Patients that are undergoing transesophageal echocardiograms often are not allowed to eat or drink for six hours before the exam. To prepare you for the procedure, the physician will place an IV in your arm and will administer medication to help you relax, such as an anesthetic sprayed in your throat. The procedure will take approximately 30 minutes, and results are typically available immediately after the test.
Your physician might also order a stress echocardiogram, which evaluates how your heart operates while you are exercising. Stress echocardiograms are extremely helpful in identifying coronary artery disease. During the procedure, you will walk on a treadmill so a physician can evaluate how your heart performs under stress.
A fetal echocardiogram is an exam similar to an ultrasound that allows your physician to explore the structure and functionality of an unborn child’s heart. This exam is typically performed in the second trimester between weeks 18 to 24. The echocardiogram uses sound waves, known as an echo, that bounce off structures in the fetus’ heart. Highly advanced machinery is used to analyze the sound waves and craft a picture of the heart’s interior. This image will provide enough information for your physician to analyze whether the heart is developing correctly and functioning as it should.
Not all pregnant women require a fetal echocardiogram. For many, a basic ultrasound is enough to reveal the four chambers of the fetus’ heart. However, if the previous testing has brought back abnormal heartbeat results, your obstetrician may recommend an echocardiogram to ensure everything is developing normally.
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure used to assess the condition of your heart’s function and structure. During the process, the transducer sends out a burst of ultrasonic sound waves at a frequency that cannot be heard by the human ear. When placed on the chest, the transducer pushes ultrasonic waves through the body tissue to the heart tissue, where the waves “echo” off the interior structures. A nearby computer will produce images based on these echoes so the doctor can examine your heart.
Requiring an echocardiogram does not necessarily mean something has gone wrong with your heart. In fact, many physicians recommend receiving one just to assess the overall function and structure of your heart’s interior. There could be other reasons than poor heart health involved, which your doctor should explain to you beforehand. Never be afraid to ask questions regarding the procedure or the results. Understanding your health is vital.