Ferncreek Cardiology, PA
Cardiology located in Fayetteville, NC
An echocardiogram is one of the first tests performed to determine why you have chest pain, a fast or irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of heart disease. At Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, Manesh Thomas, MD, FACC, FSCAI, Matthew Daka, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Selveratnam Sinna, MD, conveniently offer echocardiograms in the office. The real-time images allow for a prompt diagnosis and quick, customized treatment. To learn more about echocardiograms or schedule an appointment, call the office in Fayetteville, North Carolina, or use the online booking feature today.
Echocardiogram Q & A
What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create detailed images of your heart. During an echocardiogram, your provider uses a device called a transducer that sends safe sound waves into your body.
The sound waves bounce off tissues and return to the transducer. Then the transducer sends the information to a computer that produces real-time images of your heart and blood vessels.
What problems show up on an echocardiogram?
A standard echocardiogram reveals information about the heart’s structure. A Doppler echocardiogram uses a special technique to show movement such as blood flow, muscle contraction, and valves opening and closing.
Your echocardiogram reveals information about:
- Blood clots
- Fluid buildup
- Chamber size
- Muscle thickness
- Muscle damage
- Blood vessel blockages
An echocardiogram shows how well your heart pumps blood to your body.
When would I need an echocardiogram?
Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, recommends an echocardiogram when you have symptoms that suggest a heart condition. An echocardiogram helps the team diagnose problems such as:
- Heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Pericardial inflammation
- Fluid around the heart
- Leaky heart valves (regurgitation)
- Heart valve narrowing (stenosis)
- Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
- Atrial fibrillation and other heart arrhythmias
- Muscle damage due to a heart attack
You may also need an echocardiogram to check on your heart after treatment for an existing condition.
What happens during an echocardiogram?
During a transthoracic (standard) echocardiogram, you relax on the exam table. Your provider puts ultrasound jelly on the transducer or your skin, then places it against your chest. They move the transducer around your skin to get the best image of your heart.
You feel the transducer and slight pressure as your provider pushes down on the device. However, an echocardiogram should never cause discomfort.
What other type of echocardiogram might I need?
In addition to a standard echocardiogram, your provider may perform:
Your provider takes ultrasound images, you do a routine stress test, and then they take another echocardiogram afterward. Comparing the before and after images shows how well your heart functions when forced to work harder.
The Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, team does a transesophageal echocardiogram when they need a sharper image than they can get with a transthoracic echocardiogram.
During this procedure, they gently guide a slim, transducer-containing tube down your throat and into the esophagus, placing the probe in the area where the esophagus passes next to your heart.
If you have questions about an echocardiogram or need to schedule an appointment, call Ferncreek Cardiology, PA, or book online today.