When heart conditions occur, it is important that the doctor have access to diagnostic tools that can help get a proper and accurate diagnosis of one’s condition. One diagnostic testing tool is that of the echocardiogram. The cardiologists of Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa, more commonly known as CVAM are pleased to offer echocardiograms, or “echoes,” to evaluate the heart.
What is an echocardiogram?
The echocardiogram is a diagnostic test that is performed with high-frequency sound waves such as ultrasound that can produce images of the heart. These pictures help a doctor evaluate the heart valves, chambers, and pumping action. Additionally, echocardiograms may be combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to also evaluate the blood flow through the valves of the heart.
Why is an echocardiogram suggested?
Echocardiograms are best used to assess the overall function of the heart. They may also be used over time to follow the progress of certain conditions, such as valve disease. A doctor may also use an echocardiogram to evaluate the success of a surgical or medical treatment. With echocardiograms, doctors can determine if certain heart conditions exist, including:
- Valve disease
- Myocardial disease
- Pericardial disease
- Infective endocarditis
- Congenital heart disease
- Cardiac masses
What can I expect from my echocardiogram visit?
Before the test, the doctor will explain the procedure in detail and offer time for patients to ask any questions they may have. The patient will change into a hospital gown and taken to an examination room. Several electrodes are placed on the chest and are attached to the EKG monitor to chart the heart’s electrical activity throughout the testing procedure. Patients lie on their left side and a sound-wave transducer wand with gel will be pressed against the chest in the area of the heart. Patients may be asked to reposition their body or hold their breath to get a proper view of the heart’s function.
Schedule an appointment with CVAM today!
Phoenix East Valley area men and women who want to work with a cardiologist to have an echocardiogram performed will want to connect with the doctors at CVAM. The practice has four locations; Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and Queen Creek, and can be reached by phone at (480) 641-5400.