An echocardiogram is a diagnostic tool that uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. Like an ultrasound, the echocardiogram allows the doctor to develop a comprehensive picture of your heart’s condition and efficiency. If your doctor is recommending you undergo an echocardiogram, know that he is on the right track to better understanding whatever symptoms you are experiencing of concerns you are having with regard to your heart function.
What an Echocardiogram Can Tell You
Simply put, an echocardiogram is an ultrasound that is customized for the heart. Doctors rely on this diagnostic tool to evaluate the size of your heart, the thickness of its walls, valve function, chamber size and if there is any damage. Most importantly, it can help a doctor identify any abnormalities, diseases, or heart conditions – congenital or otherwise.
Not only does the echocardiogram provide information on the physical aspects of your heart, the data your doctor gathers can also be used to measure your overall health condition. Because echocardiograms can measure electrical activity, they are used to provide insight on an array of important biometrics, to include heart rate and heart rate variability, fatigue, breathing index, stress, and even mood. Combined, all these data present a comprehensive picture of how your heart impacts your overall heath and well-being.
What to Expect
There are several types of echocardiograms. Which one your doctor recommends will depend on the information he is seeking. The most commonly used echocardiogram uses a hand-held transducer that uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This transducer is hooked to a computer that will convert the sound waves into images of your heart. From this imagery, doctors are able to take measurements and calculations to evaluate heart function and size. If needed, the technician may inject an enhancing agent through an IV line for a clearer view of your heart.
One-Stop Comprehensive Care in South Carolina
If your doctor recommends any sort of diagnostic testing, look no further than SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation. Our independent practice provides a one-stop care experience that includes diagnostic testing, specialty care, and rehabilitation. Our comprehensive, compassionate, patient-centric care extends beyond an average doctor’s office – our goal is to foster life-long relationships. Let us help you! Call us today at (803) 749-1111, or request an appointment online.