Diagnostic imaging techniques allow doctors to investigate what’s going on inside the human body without having to make any incisions. This means that they can diagnose medical conditions without much disturbance to the patient. In most cases, medical imaging procedures are pain-free.
There are a variety of different medical imaging techniques, some of the most common medical imaging techniques include ultrasound and echocardiogram, or echo test. Let’s talk about the similarities and differences between these two technologies.
Ultrasound is a type of medical imaging test that uses sound waves to create images of the internal organs, and is most commonly associated with monitoring pregnancy. However, ultrasound can also be used to look at many different parts of the body, including the blood vessels, breasts, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and the heart.
Ultrasound is used not just for diagnostic purposes, but also for therapeutic purposes. Physical therapists use high-frequency sound waves from ultrasound to produce deep heat, which can help increase circulation, reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and speed up the healing of injuries. Ultrasound therapy is often part of comprehensive treatments used to treat tendonitis, bursitis, and other types of soft tissue injuries. In addition to therapeutic purposes, ultrasound is also used for guidance during procedures such as biopsies or surgeries.
A doctor may recommend an ultrasound due to pregnancy, spider and varicose veins, abdominal pain and swelling, vomiting, and if you have symptoms of heart disease.
An echocardiogram also uses ultrasound technology to create images of the heart. Hence, it is called an ultrasound of the heart. This test can be used to assess the size and function of the heart, as well as look for abnormalities in the structure of the heart.
The ultrasound technician will use a transducer and place it on your chest (in a transthoracic echocardiogram) to send high-frequency sound waves into your heart. These sound waves will bounce off of your heart and be picked up by the transducer and converted into images on a monitor. Your doctor can see these images and use them to assess the structure and function of your heart.
Unlike ultrasound, an echocardiogram is used for assessing the heart only. The difference between an ultrasound and an echocardiogram is in the application, since the technology used is essentially the same. An echocardiogram can be used to diagnose a heart attack, an inflamed pericardium, coronary artery disease, heart failure, narrowing of the heart valves, and congenital heart defects.
If a doctor suspects that you have a heart condition due to symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, shortness of breath, and irregular heartbeat, your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram.
Echocardiogram and Ultrasound in Irmo, SC
SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, LLC offers ultrasound and echocardiogram testing in our facility. Our primary care providers will recommend the appropriate test for you depending on our assessment of your needs. We also offer a wide range of diagnostic services, should you need them for further investigation of your medical condition, and to monitor your condition. To schedule a consultation with one of our physicians, call our office today at (803) 749-1111 or use our convenient online request form.