One of the best ways for your cardiologist to see how your heart is functioning, short of surgery, is with an echocardiogram. The team at Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington in New York provides state-of-the-art on-site echocardiography, including transesophageal echocardiograms. To learn more or schedule a consultation, call the practice’s Huntington office today or book an appointment online.
Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound. Ultrasound machines produce high-frequency sound waves that bounce back or echo off your heart to create moving images.
Using echocardiography, your provider at Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington can see how your heart is beating and identify problems with the way it's pumping blood. The procedure provides valuable insight into what might be causing your symptoms.
There are several kinds of echocardiography, including:
A transthoracic echocardiogram is much the same as a standard ultrasound scan of your abdomen. Your provider slides the handpiece (transducer) across your skin with the help of a slippery gel and views the resulting images on a monitor. Some patients need an injection of dye into their veins to enhance the images.
A transesophageal echocardiogram uses an internal ultrasound transducer that your provider carefully passes down your throat until it’s level with your heart. This form of echocardiography might be necessary if a transthoracic echocardiogram can’t produce clear images due to issues like scar tissue or deep layers of fat.
Doppler echocardiogram measures the direction and rate that blood is flowing using changes in the pitch of the sound waves as they bounce off blood cells in your heart and arteries.
Stress echocardiography is helpful with patients whose symptoms don’t appear during a standard test. You need to either exercise on a treadmill or take medication to produce the same effect while attached to the echocardiogram machine. Raising your heart rate can reveal problems that aren’t present when you’re resting.
Your provider at Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington will discuss with you the results of your echocardiogram. The team often uses echocardiograms to diagnose valvular abnormalities (problems in your heart’s valves) as well as conditions like:
Echocardiograms can also find faulty connections between your heart and arteries.
To find out more about echocardiography or discuss your symptoms, call Comprehensive Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates of Huntington today or book an appointment online.