Echocardiogram

WHAT DOES AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM DO?

An echocardiogram is a tool that creates pictures of the heart, its chambers and its vessels. Those pictures are used to help diagnose cardiac diseases, such as cardiomyopathies, or to show damage to the heart following a heart attack.  

 IS AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM PAINFUL?

No, an echocardiogram is not typically painful. An echocardiogram is created using sound waves which produce the video image. The technician/doctor will perform an echocardiogram using the sonic probe. The sound waves travel through your chest, bounce off your heart and produce an image which shows the doctor the structures of your heart. The image can also determine whether an area has been damaged and can provide other detailed information. The sound waves aren't painful and patient should feel no discomfort.

 DO I NEED TO BE SEDATED FOR AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM?

No.

 DO I NEED TO BE FASTING FOR AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM?

No.

How long does it take to get the results from an echocardiogram?

The results are available as soon as the echocardiogram is completed, but the doctor will need to interpret the results. For most patients, the results are read by Dr. Rotatori and discussed with the patient within a few days.

ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ECHOCARDIOGRAMS?

Yes, there is a variety of echocardiogram. Most people have a transthoracic echocardiogram, which is simply a collection of images created with the ultrasound wand on the chest wall. A more complex procedure is the trans-esophageal echocardiogram, which takes images from the inside of the esophagus. This is performed in the hospital under sedation.