Some people may wear their hearts on their sleeves, but if you have any health problems related to the heart, it isn’t that easy to see what’s going on. If you’ve experienced a heart attack or have heart-related symptoms, your doctor will order an echocardiogram to get a detailed look at your heart. Trust the experienced and knowledgeable team led by Gregory T. Goldstein, MD, at Advantage MRI in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, to capture high-quality images of your heart for an accurate diagnosis. Schedule your appointment online, or call the office today.
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to capture moving images of your heart. Echo images are used to detect problems with the aorta, blood clots in the heart, or fluid buildup in the pericardium (sac around the heart). Echocardiogram images show your doctor the size of your heart, view the walls of the heart chambers, the heart valves, and the wall separating the right and left heart chambers.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms related to the functioning of your heart, your doctor may order an echocardiogram. Echocardiogram images are used to diagnose heart problems such as:
Echo helps doctors diagnose heart problems, monitor changes and improvements in your health, determine the next steps for treatment, or determine the need for additional medical testing.
Some heart problems are easier to diagnose when the heart is working at full capacity. A stress test is an echocardiogram taken during exercise, so your doctor can see your heart when it’s beating fast and working hard. Images of your heart are taken before you start exercise and again as soon as you finish. During a stress test, you’ll pedal a stationary bike or walk or run on a treadmill to increase your heart rate.
Depending on the type of echocardiogram, your doctor may inject a saline or dye solution into one of your veins to improve the visibility of your heart in the echo pictures. Echocardiograms are not painful, and the process takes about one hour. The procedure takes place in an exam room with you lying on an exam table on your back or left side. Your doctor places sticky patches (electrodes) to your chest to record the heart’s electrical activity (EKG). Your doctor then applies a gel to your chest and moves a wand around on the chest to capture images of your heart with soundwaves, which are displayed on a screen.
If you’ve experienced any heart-related symptoms, you may need an echocardiogram, or your primary care doctor has referred you to the practice, call Advantage MRI, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.