If you go to your doctor for chest pain or breathing issues and your heart murmur is strong, you may be asked to get an echocardiogram done. It is a diagnostic tool for patients who may have heart problems. An echocardiogram can reveal a lot about your heart and cardiovascular health.
An echocardiogram produces an image of your heart using sound waves. Therefore, it is essentially an ultrasound of the heart. Through it, a doctor can identify abnormalities and diseases that are affecting your heart and need treatment.
There are many benefits to getting an echocardiogram, including:
Checking for Diseases and Abnormalities
An echocardiogram provides your doctor with all the information needed to determine if you have a serious heart problem. An echocardiogram can assess heart function and detect and follow the progression of heart disease and cardiac masses. It can help diagnose atherosclerosis, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and cardiac tumors. Patients with heart valve issues that are still considered mild or minor need regular monitoring in case they become moderate or severe. If these issues are ignored, you could have a heart attack, stroke, or clotting.
Little to No Risks
Unlike diagnostic procedures that make use of radiation to produce results, there are no risks involved with echocardiograms. It is a non-invasive test, which means you do not have to deal with the pain and complications of an open wound.
In a transthoracic echocardiogram, you can expect minor discomfort, but there is no risk involved with the procedure. With a transesophageal echocardiogram, you may develop a sore throat, which typically goes away in a few hours. In a stress echocardiogram, you will be asked to do exercises to get your heart pumping. You may experience a faster heartbeat, but heart attacks or other problems during a stress echocardiogram are extremely rare.
Monitoring Safety and Effectiveness of Treatment
An echocardiogram is also used to monitor disease and effectiveness of treatment or surgery. For instance, following heart surgery that involves placing tubes in your arteries, a type of echocardiogram is used for monitoring. Also, patients who have suffered heart failure benefit from regular monitoring with echocardiography. Echocardiograms are also used in regular monitoring of patients who are undergoing cancer therapy in which there is a risk of cardiotoxicity.
Echocardiography Services in Irmo, South Carolina
Every treatment begins with a diagnosis. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your chest, an echocardiogram could reveal what’s causing it. At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, we are proud to offer you comprehensive diagnostic services that include echocardiograms.
For heart conditions, we also offer the carotid doppler, Holter monitoring, nuclear cardiac stress testing, and cardiac lipid testing. Our goal is to guide your care and treatment using the most advanced diagnostic tools available. Trust us to help you find relief for all your healthcare needs.
To schedule an appointment, call SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation at (803) 749-1111 or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you soon!