Echocardiography is a very precise method of detecting the hearts movement and shape. It is a non-invasive technique to study the motion and appearance of the valves.
Why is an Echocardiography performed?
The test is performed for a variety of reasons including:
- To assess a variety of heart conditions, such as heart murmurs, damage to the heart muscle in those who had a heart attack, and infections in the heart.
- It may also be recommended if patient is experiencing abnormal heart sounds, shortness of breath, palpitations, angina (chest pain) or have a history of strokes.
- To diagnose heart valve problems.
- It is also done as a part of cardiac screening.
What Happens During an Echocardiography?
The patient is asked to lie down and remove clothing from the waist up. A sheet of paper or cloth is used to cover the patient. Electrodes will then be placed on the patient’s body. The patient might be asked to breathe in a certain way or be asked to lie on ones side to help the test be performed successfully. A gel is applied to the chest followed by a transducer, i.e. a machine that sends and receives sound, which is placed on the body over the heart and measures the distance. This produces the visual representation of the heart on a monitor. Though only a trained sonographer is required to perform the test, a cardiologist will be the best in interpreting the results.
How to prepare for Echocardiography?
There are no special preparations a patient needs to make for this test but diabetic patients should always consult their doctor who must be kept well informed before undergoing echocardiography or altering the existing medication dosage. It is especially recommended for any person who might be feeling abnormal pain in the heart or chest area. Patients are advised to speak to their cardiologist or physician before taking any medication or changing their routine.