Advanced Heart Health Assessment

As a leading practice in the Orlando area, Heartwell Cardiology offers echocardiography as one among many high-tech diagnostic services. Dr. Sharma performs this kind of state-of-the-art testing to diagnose and curate a treatment plan for those in and around Winter Park, FL with heart conditions.

What is an Echocardiogram?   

An echocardiogram is, in short, an ultrasound of the heart. Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images that give the doctor a literal picture of the patient’s health. In the case of an echocardiogram, the doctor will be able to see whether the heart is structurally and functionally healthy. The images will show how blood moves through the valves and chambers of the heart. There are various types of echocardiograms, and which you have depends on what Dr. Sharma is looking for. 

What is an Echocardiogram Used to Examine?

A standard echocardiogram, also called a transthoracic echocardiogram, is used to examine the heart’s structure and how blood flows through it. If the information produced by a standard echocardiogram proves insufficient, then a transesophageal echocardiogram (a.k.a. TEE) might be in order so that Dr. Sharma can dig get a more granular glimpse. TEE’s generate an image of the heart from the inside – specifically, from inside the esophagus. 

Overall, echocardiograms serve mainly to inform on things like the following:

  • Changes in the size of the heart
  • The heart’s pumping strength
  • Damage to the heart muscles
  • Leaky heart valves
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Whether the heart functions properly during physical exertion or times of stress

Who Needs an Echocardiogram?

Echocardiography plays an important role in the diagnostics phase of treating many types of heart conditions. Dr. Sharma may order an echocardiogram for patients who report any of the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • History of heart attack
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart murmur
  • Arrhythmia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
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What to Expect from an Echocardiogram

First and foremost, at Heartwell Cardiology, you can expect to feel safe and relaxed during your echocardiogram. During a standard echocardiogram, you’ll simply lie down on one of our comfortable exam tables in a private room where Dr. Sharma will guide an ultrasound wand over your chest area and the wand will generate images on a monitor. A stress echocardiogram is also performed in this way with the only difference being that recordings are gathered prior to and immediately after exercise.

If diagnosing your condition requires a transesophageal echocardiogram, you can expect a handful of differences in procedural details. Given a TEE requires placing and guiding a catheter in the esophagus, sedatives are administered to ensure avoidance of any discomfort for the patient. The catheter serves as a tunnel through which an ultrasound wand is fed. Then, just as with the standard version of this test, the wand simply records and produces imaging.

Echocardiogram FAQs

Is an echocardiogram the same as an electrocardiogram (a.k.a. EKG)?

How long does an echocardiogram take?

How long is recovery?

Is there X-ray exposure?

Are there any required preparations?

Is an echocardiogram invasive or non-invasive?

Is an echocardiogram the same as an electrocardiogram (a.k.a. EKG)?

No, though EKGs are often performed in tandem with an echocardiogram.

How long does an echocardiogram take?

Usually less than 1 hour.

How long is recovery?

Patients usually go home same day and can immediately resume normal activities.

Is there X-ray exposure?

No.

Are there any required preparations?

Depends on the type of echocardiogram.

Is an echocardiogram invasive or non-invasive?

Depends on the type of echocardiogram.

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Get the Diagnostic Details

Visit Heartwell Cardiology in Winter Park, Florida to see how we’re transforming the patient experience as they undergo diagnostic testing. The last thing we want for any of our heart patients is for them to be burdened by worry. Shed the weight of worry by letting us take care of the diagnostic details. Our expert cardiologist, Dr. Sharma, delivers thorough, compassionate care from our Orlando area location where we conduct diagnostic examinations in-office. Our practice is an inviting environment where patients can count on getting answers to all their health questions. Call us today or schedule your echocardiogram here.

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