What is an Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to produce images of the heart. Your doctor may refer to an echocardiogram as an echo, echocardiography, or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound.
An echocardiogram can determine or detect:
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart Failure
- Heart valve disease
- Cardiac tumor
- Pericardial effusion caused by tamponade
- Atrial or septal wall defects
Your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram if you experience symptoms that indicate a heart condition, including:
- An irregular heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- High or low blood pressure
- Leg swelling
- Abnormal ECG/EKG results
- Heart murmurs
What happens during an Echocardiogram?
During an echocardiogram, a transducer is pressed firmly against your chest. The transducer then sends out high-frequency sound waves through the body until it reaches the heart. These sound waves are recorded and converted into moving images of the heart valves and other structures.
What are the risks of an Echocardiogram?
There is no pain or risk associated with having an echocardiogram. However, patients may experience minor discomfort while the transducer is being held firmly in place.
The health care professionals at Baptist Health are able to identify many heart conditions using an echocardiogram. To learn more about echocardiograms, or other cardiac care procedures, request an appointment with one of our experts today.