If you struggle with chest pain or shortness of breath or are at risk of developing heart disease, the skilled doctors at Internal Medicine Practices in Lady Lake and Tavares, Florida, can help. They use echocardiograms to determine if you have a heart problem requiring treatment. Call the nearest office to schedule an appointment or book one online today.
Echocardiograms use sound waves to take images of your heart. These images help your provider see the heart pumping blood and beating, enabling them to diagnose heart disease and other heart abnormalities.
If you show symptoms of a heart problem, like an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort, your doctor will recommend you undergo an echocardiogram. They use this procedure to evaluate the valves and chambers of your heart and identify heart defects you were born with.
There’s usually no special preparation needed before an echocardiogram. In most cases, you can drink, eat, and take medicine as you normally would.
If you undergo a transesophageal echocardiogram, a procedure in which your provider places a transducer down your throat, your specialist will ask you not to eat or drink in the few hours before your procedure. If you receive a sedative to help you relax, you must arrange for someone to drive you home after the echocardiogram.
During an echocardiogram, a technician places electrodes on your body. They apply a special gel to a transducer, the hand-held device that emits the sound waves. The gel improves the technician’s ability to hear the sounds.
They move the transducer over your chest to record sound wave images from the heart. You might hear pulsing or whooshing sounds during the procedure, but it’s not painful.
For transesophageal echocardiograms, you’ll receive a sedative to relax you and a numbing spray for your throat. Your specialist places a tube with a transducer through your throat into your esophagus. This allows them to take images of your heart from a different angle.
Many echocardiograms take less than an hour to complete, but every patient is different. Your doctor will be able to tell you more during your consultation before you undergo the procedure.
There’s no downtime after getting an echocardiogram. You can go right back to your routine. If you’ve received a sedative, have someone drive you home and take the rest of the day off from work or school.
Your Internal Medicine Practices provider reviews the echocardiogram results with you and lets you know if you need further diagnostic testing or treatment for a medical condition. They can refer you to a specialist if a complex health problem is found.
Call the Internal Medicine Practices office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about echocardiograms and find out if you need one.