If you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of a heart problem, echocardiography is one of the first diagnostic procedures you receive. William R. Martin, MD, and the highly experienced team at Upper Valley Interventional Radiology in McAllen, Texas, produce highly detailed and accurate echocardiograms so your heart condition is quickly diagnosed and treated. To learn more about echocardiography or to schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.
Echocardiography, also called diagnostic cardiac ultrasound or an echocardiogram, is a procedure that uses safe, painless sound waves to produce images of your heart. During your echocardiography, a device called a transducer sends sound waves through your skin and into your body.
The sound waves bounce off the structures they encounter, sending an echo back to the transducer. The transducer sends the information to a computer that translates the sound waves into images.
Echocardiography creates moving images of your heart that show muscle contraction, fluid buildup, and other essential information. A type of echocardiography called Doppler ultrasound shows the blood movement as it flows through your heart.
Your doctor orders echocardiography to diagnose the underlying cause of heart symptoms and to assess how well heart treatments are working. The images created during your echocardiogram show information such as the:
Echocardiography produces quick results so you can receive immediate treatment for heart conditions.
Your doctor may order:
A transthoracic echocardiogram is the most common type and usually one of the first diagnostic procedures performed if you develop symptoms of heart disease. Your provider at Upper Valley Interventional Radiology performs transthoracic echocardiography by placing the transducer against your chest and directing the sound waves toward your heart.
During a transesophageal echocardiogram, your provider guides a small transducer down your throat and into the esophagus, where the transducer is positioned next to your heart. This type of echocardiography is more invasive but produces a better image than the transthoracic approach because the sound waves don’t travel through your skin.
This is a transthoracic echocardiogram that’s performed after you exercise. The information shows how well your heart works when it’s forced to pump more blood through your body.
Your provider takes ultrasound images from different angles, then the computer uses the information to create a three-dimensional image of your heart.
If you have questions about echocardiography or you need to schedule an appointment, call Upper Valley Interventional Radiology or schedule an appointment online.