What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiography Sydney(echo) is a test that uses high-frequency sound (ultrasound) that mainly takes pictures of your heart. This test is called diagnostic ultrasound of the heart or echocardiography.
- The echo uses sound waves to create images of your heart chambers, valves, walls, and blood vessels (aorta, arteries, arteries) attached to your heart.
- A probe called a transducer passes through your chest. The probe produces sound waves that emanate from your heart and “echo” back to the probe. These waves are then converted into images viewed on a video monitor.
- The echo cannot hurt you.
Why Do Some People Do An Echo Test?
Your cardiologist may use an echo test to check your cardiovascular system and to check how well your heart is functioning. The test helps your doctor determine:
- The shape and size of your heart, and the thickness and movement of the walls of your heart.
- How your heart beats.
- The heart is pounding.
- If the valves are properly working.
- When blood leaks, it is recovered through the heart valves (regurgitation).
- If the heart valves are too small (stenosis).
- If there is an infectious tumor or growth around the valves of your heart.
The test will also help your doctor determine if there are any:
- Problems or issues with the heart’s outer lining (called pericardium).
- Problems with your large blood vessels entering and leaving the heart.
- The Blood clots formed in the chambers of your heart.
- Rare holes between heart chambers.
What Are The Dangers?
The echo cannot hurt you, and it is also harmless and has no side effects.
How Do I Prepare An Echocardiogram?
You must not do anything specific. You can drink and eat before the test as you usually do.
What Happens During The Echocardiography?
Specially trained professionals perform echo tests. You could have your test done at your doctor’s office, operating room, emergency room, hospital clinic, or hospital room. The test takes about an hour.
- The patient usually lies on the table, and the technician puts small metal discs (electrodes) on your chest. Discs have wires connected to an electrocardiograph machine. An echocardiography Sydney (ECG or EKG) tracks your heartbeat during your examination.
- The room is so dark that the technician can better see the video monitor.
- Your therapist puts a gel on your chest to help the sound waves pass through your skin.
- Your therapist can also ask you to move or hold your breath for better images briefly.
- The probe (transducer) is passed to your chest. The probe produces sound waves that emanate from your heart and “echo” back to the probe.
- Sound waves are converted into images and displayed on a video monitor. Photos in the video monitor are recorded for your doctor to view later.
What Happens After The Echo?
Your specialist will help you clean the gel on your chest. After looking at your echo photos, your doctor will also talk to you and discuss what the pictures show.