What to Expect During Your Echocardiogram

Have you been told you have an irregular heartbeat? Or did your doctor hear something abnormal at your last appointment when he listened to your heart? If so, you probably require more testing. There are a lot of tests out there, but an echocardiogram gives our team a clear picture of your heart health.

At Lakewood Cardiovascular Consultants, our team is made up of many caring individuals who want to keep your cardiac health top-notch. The practice is led by Dr. Erick Calderon, with the assistance of Cynthia Bosch, our nurse practitioner. They both get you the answers you need to keep your heart as healthy as possible. 

What is an echocardiogram?

Echocardiograms are a type of ultrasound that allows Dr. Calderon to distinctly see the parts of your heart. This is possible because of sound waves that show not only the blood flow in your heart but also the different chambers and valves within your heart. 

But why is this procedure performed? You may have an echocardiogram for a number of different reasons, including to:

An echocardiogram is also used to evaluate any damage to your heart after a heart attack. Dr. Calderon also uses this test to evaluate how well your heart medicines are working.

An echocardiogram is painless. The sonographer uses a small wand on your chest to get a good picture of your heart. It’s also non-invasive, meaning there isn’t any incision or cut in your skin.

Preparing for the test

There isn’t much you can do to prepare for an echocardiogram. Because the procedure is non-invasive, you can go about your normal routine on the day of your procedure. This means you can shower and eat breakfast or lunch before the test.

You do want to make sure you wear comfortable clothing because you’ll most likely need to change into a gown for the procedure. You should take your daily medications as usual, as they won’t interfere with the echocardiogram.

You want to leave any valuable items at home, as you won’t have your things with you during the test. You’re able to put your clothing and other items in a locker while you’re having the echocardiogram.

The echocardiogram procedure

Dr. Calderon either performs the echocardiogram in the office or in a hospital setting. Before the procedure, you’ll be asked to undress from the waist up and put on a gown. You’ll then be taken to the procedure room, where you’ll lie down on a table.

Once on the table, the technician applies electrode pads to your chest, which pick up your heart’s electrical activity. After this:

Sometimes, you might be asked to roll on your side or take slow, deep breaths to get a better picture of the different parts of your heart. The echocardiogram usually takes about an hour or so. Once you’re done, you can go home and go about your normal day.

Once Dr. Calderon receives your results, he brings you into the office to discuss the findings. If your echocardiogram results are normal, no further testing is usually needed and you can continue your normal regimen.

However, if the findings are suspicious, Dr. Calderon may recommend further testing to find the culprit behind your heart issues.

Don’t hesitate to get treatment for heart problems. If you need an echocardiogram, make an appointment with Dr. Calderon at our office in Sarasota County, Florida. You can either call our office or request an appointment online.

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