What Is Echocardiography?
Echocardiography is a non-invasive medical test used to assess the health of the heart. This procedure is performed by placing small ultrasound, or sound wave, transducers on the chest wall in order to examine the structures and functioning of the heart. The sound waves beamed from the transducers create images, which allow the healthcare practitioner to assess the size, structure, and movement of the heart and its valves.
What Are the Benefits of Echocardiography?
Echocardiography offers a number of benefits, such as allowing healthcare practitioners to identify issues and diagnose conditions quickly, keeping costs down in comparison to other types of heart health testing. As results are reviewed in real time, echocardiography offers immediate and accurate results, allowing doctors to make prompt treatment decisions and potentially improve overall heart health. Additionally, echocardiography is a non-invasive procedure which carries minimal risk of side effects compared to other types of tests.
Types of Echocardiography
Depending on the doctor’s clinical evaluation, types of echocardiography testing can include:
This type of echocardiography is used to determine the size, function, and movement of the heart and its valves. This type of test uses sound waves to generate images of the heart, without having to insert any device into the body. Transthoracic echocardiography is a safe and painless procedure that takes around 30 minutes and requires no preparation.
Doppler echocardiography is a type of ultrasound in which sound waves are used to determine the speed and direction at which blood is flowing through the heart. This type of test offers doctors invaluable insight into how well the heart is working.
Stress echocardiography is a type of test in which a person undergoes exercise or takes medication to increase their heart rate and replicate the effects of exercise while the procedure is performed. This type of test is used to show any changes in the heart’s performance.
At its most basic, echocardiography is a type of ultrasound used to evaluate heart health. This procedure can provide fast and accurate results, allowing medical practitioners to quickly diagnose and begin treatment of any issues. By understanding its various functions and types of echocardiography tests, patients can have increased confidence that they are being adequately monitored and provided with the best possible care for any cardiac concerns.