ECHO (Echocardiography)

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An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The image is much more detailed than an X-ray and involves no radiation exposure. The test displays the cross-sectional slice of the beating heart, including the chambers, valves, and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right parts of the heart. Echocardiography is capable of detecting blood clots inside the heart, abnormal holes between the heart’s chamber,  fluid buildup in the sac around the heart (pericardium), and problems with the aorta (the main artery that carries oxygen-rich blood out of the heart).

What happens during the ECHO?

During the procedure, a water-based gel is applied to your chest to help sound waves pass through the skin. The cardiologist asks you to move and hold your breath to get clear pictures of each side of the heart. The transducer produces sound waves that bounce off your heart and echo back to the probe, further displayed on a monitor. Those recordings were printed to look at the heart’s function later on. 

  • Wear loose-fitting two-piece clothes that allow easy access to the chest wall.
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