Cardiology Associates of Frederick
Cardiologists located in Frederick, MD
To determine the underlying cause of your chest pain or shortness of breath, you may need an echocardiogram. The ultrasound test allows your cardiologist to evaluate the structure and function of your heart. Cardiology Associates of Frederick is a state-of-the-art practice in Frederick, Maryland. They offer comprehensive cardiac care and testing, including the echocardiogram and the transesophageal echocardiogram. Call the office or request a consultation online today.
Echocardiogram Q & A
What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram, or echo, is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves to generate moving images of your heart.
During the test, your provider places a transducer on your chest, and it emits the sound waves into your body. The transducer picks up the echoes as they bounce off various parts of your heart.
The echoes turn into moving pictures, which your provider views on a computer screen.
The echocardiogram at Cardiology Associates of Frederick is noninvasive and requires no special preparation prior to the test.
What is a transesophageal echocardiogram?
A transesophageal echocardiogram also uses ultrasound technology to create moving images of your heart. However, instead of placing a transducer over your chest, your provider inserts a probe with a transducer down your esophagus.
The transesophageal echocardiogram creates a clearer image of your heart because the sound waves don’t have to pass through your skin, muscle, or bone tissue.
Your cardiologist at Cardiology Associates of Frederick may recommend a transesophageal echocardiogram if they’re looking for a specific cardiac problem, such as mitral valve prolapse, or they don’t think they can get good imaging from a traditional echo.
Why would I need an echocardiogram?
Your cardiologist explains in detail why you need an echocardiogram. They may recommend the test to:
- Evaluate the heart’s structure and function
- Look for certain types of heart disease (e.g., valve disease, myocardial disease)
- Monitor your valve disease over time
- Assess the effectiveness of your treatment or surgery
Cardiology Associates of Frederick may combine your echo with a Doppler ultrasound, which evaluates the flow of blood through your heart to help diagnose coronary artery disease.
What can I expect during an echocardiogram?
Your cardiologist at Cardiology Associates of Frederick explains what you can expect during your echocardiogram prior to the test. You should wear comfortable clothing and leave valuables at home. The entire test takes less than an hour.
After reviewing your symptoms and medical history, your provider places electrodes on your chest to monitor your cardiac activity. You lie back on the exam table, and your provider starts the echo.
You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during the test. Your provider may ask you to change your position and hold your breath at various times during the echocardiogram.
After the test, you can resume your usual activities. Your cardiologist reviews your echo and schedules a follow-up appointment to discuss the results.
For comprehensive cardiac care from a state-of-the-art practice, call Cardiology Associates of Frederick or click the online booking button to schedule your consultation today.
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