An echocardiogram, also referred to as echo or echocardiography, is a type of routine examination for evaluating how well your heart’s chambers and valves are pumping blood. This test is recommended for people who are showing symptoms of heart problems, such as chest pains, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.
There are different types of echocardiograms, each of which uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the heart and its structures and reveal abnormalities and dysfunction. The type your doctor will recommend will depend on what they suspect to be the problem.
Let’s explore each of the different types of echocardiograms and find out where to go for high-quality echo testing in Irmo, South Carolina.
Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)
A TTE is one of the most commonly performed cardiac tests. During the exam, the technician runs the transducer across your chest, moving it back and forth to scan your heart. The pictures are projected onto a monitor.
A TTE is done to assess signs and symptoms that may be indicative of heart enlargement, blockage of the arteries, heart valve malfunction, among other heart problems.
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
A TEE involves the use of an endoscope (a long and flexible tube with a tiny camera on its end) to guide the echo transducer all the way into your esophagus, which is behind your heart. This allows for a more detailed view at your heart and its valves since the sound waves do not have to pass through the skin.
A TEE is a test for detecting valve disease, congenital heart disease, blood clots in the chambers of your heart, heart tumor, heart enlargement, among others.
A stress echocardiogram or a stress echo involves the use of an exercise machine such as a treadmill. The patient gets on the treadmill and the technician takes two images – one of the heart when at rest and another one when it’s stressed.
A stress echo can reveal how well your heart works when stressed during physical activity.
Nuclear Stress Echocardiogram
If you are unable to exercise, the technician may inject a medication to make your heart work as it would during exercise.
The test can reveal heart damage or problems, blood flow blockage, and problems with the walls of the heart.
A doppler echocardiogram is a type of test primarily used to assess the speed and direction of blood flow within your heart.
A doppler echocardiogram can reveal heart dysfunction based on the amount of blood pumped by the heart with each beat.
High-Quality Echo Testing in Irmo, SC
At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, LLC, we offer a wide range of on-site diagnostic services, including echocardiography, and pride ourselves on providing comprehensive, accurate results.
If you consult one of our board-certified internal medicine doctors and they recommend an echocardiogram to confirm or rule out a heart problem, you can rest assured that we all work together to provide you with the best experience possible.
If you have any questions about our diagnostic tests or would like to schedule an echocardiogram, call our clinic at (803) 749-1111 or use our online request form. We look forward to serving you in our Irmo diagnostic center!