An Echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than a plain x-ray image and involves no radiation exposure.
- Foetal Echocardiography
- Trademill Test(TMT)
Two-dimensional echocardiography can provide excellent images of the heart, paracardiac structures, and the great vessels. During a standard echo, the sound waves are directed to the heart from a small hand-held device called a transducer, which sends and receives signals. Heart walls and valves reflect part of the sound waves back to the transducer to produce pictures of the heart. These images appear in black and white and in color on a TV screen. They’re selectively recorded on videotape and special paper, and reviewed and interpreted by a cardiologist (heart specialist).
From the pictures it is possible to measure the size of each part of your heart, to study motion and appearance of the valves and the function of the heart muscle. Your physician uses the measurements to determine how your heart is working and whether or not any abnormalities are present.
A Doppler echo is often done at the same time in order to determine how the blood flows in your heart. The swishing sounds you hear during the test indicate blood flowing through the valves and chambers.
- Carotid colour doppler
- Peripheral arterial & venous colour doppler
- Abdominal Colour Doppler
- Pregnancy Colour Doppler
- Faster Examination
- High resolution images for detection of subtle abnormalities.
- Vascular information
Q. How is echocarrdiography performed?
The echocardiogram will be performed and recorded by a specially trained cardiac sonographer. It usually takes approximately one-half hour. Since the transducer must be placed directly on the chest wall or upper abdomen, you will be asked to disrobe from the waist up.
How is it performed?
The echocardiogram will be performed and recorded by a specially trained sonographer. It usually takes approximately one-half hour. Since the transducer must be placed directly on the chest wall or upper abdomen, you will be asked to disrobe from the waist up.
You’ll be asked to lie down and small adhesive patches will be attached to your body to record your electrocardiogram. The electrocardiogram is useful for timing of the heart cycle. Your physician may request that an echocardiogram be performed simultaneously with an exercise test. This procedure will be thoroughly explained by the physician or sonographer
At times during the test you may be asked to hold your breath, change position or refrain from talking in order to get a better picture. The sonographer will tell you if this is necessary.
Is it dangerous?
Ultrasound cannot be felt and does not hurt. There are no known harmful or proven side effects from ultrasound. If you are pregnant during the time an echocardiogram is performed there is no known danger to either mother or baby from this procedure.
What are the procedures involved that one should know about beforehand?
To improve the quality of the picture, a harmless, odorless and water-soluble gel is applied to the area of your skin where the transducer will be placed. This may feel cool and a bit moist, but the gel will be wiped off thoroughly after the examination.
During the procedure you might feel a slight pressure and/or vibrations from the transducer. This should not be painful. Tell the sonographer if you become uncomfortable. The room lights will be dimmed to reduce any glare and to better see the monitor
What happens after the procedure?
Although the sonographer who is performing this test may explain what is being seen on the screen as the examination is in progress, it is essential to obtain precise measurements from the paper recordings. If you have had previous echocardiograms, the new ones will be compared with those and the cardiologist will analyze any differences. Your doctor will review with you the results and final diagnosis.
- No specific preparations are required.
- However please bring your recent previous reports, particularly those of ECG and Chest x-ray.
- It is advisable to be present 10 minutes before the appointed time.
- There are no clothing restrictions.
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