Vascular Specialists Tyler Texas
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Echocardiogram

What is an Echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is a noninvasive (the skin is not pierced) procedure used to evaluate for heart disease. This procedure utilizes high resolution B-mode real-time imaging with Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart. Gel will be placed on your skin to conduct the sound waves from the transducer.

What are the indications or symptoms for an echocardiogram?

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath\
  • Palpatations
  • History of stroke
  • History of coronary disease
  • TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) - symptoms that resolve within 24 hours, such as aphasia (the inability to speak), Dysphasia (impairment of speech), Parethesia (tingling and/or numbness on one side of the body)
  • Symptoms of lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Syncope or “drop” attacks (vertebral basilar insufficiency)

 

What can I expect during the exam?

The examination takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.  It is performed in a darkened room lying on an exam table.  A technologist will perform the exam by taking images of the arteries using the ultrasound equipment.  A transducer is placed on the neck with a small amount of water soluble ultrasound gel. 

Sticky patches or electrodes are attached to the chest and shoulders and connected to electrodes or wires. These help to record the electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) during the echocardiography test. The EKG helps in the timing of various cardiac events (filling and emptying of chambers). A colorless gel is then applied to the chest and the echo transducer is placed on top of it. The echo technologist then makes recordings from different parts of the chest to obtain several views of the heart. You may be asked to move from your back and to the side. Instructions may also be given for you to breathe slowly or to hold your breath. This helps in obtaining higher quality pictures.

Patient Instructions

  • Allow 45 minutes for your echocardiogram.
  • You will be asked to remove outer clothing above the waist.
  • No smoking for one hour prior to study - it can increase abdominal gas.
  • No additional preparation is needed for this procedure

 

 

Please call us with questions or to schedule an appointment.

Vascular Specialists of East Texas