If you have been having problems with your heart, then you have probably been told that you need an echocardiogram or an electrocardiogram. Since both of these procedures have extremely long names that sound nearly identical, it can be hard to distinguish between both of them.
An echocardiogram uses a special device to send high-pitch sound waves throughout the chest. The device then picks up the echoes of the sound waves as they hit and bounce off your heart.
Once the echoes are received, a video of your heart is placed on a screen. An echocardiogram is basically an ultrasound test done on the chest instead of a pregnant woman’s stomach.
Echocardiograms are done to detect a variety of malfunctions with the heart. Heart murmurs, an enlarged heart, chest pain and irregular heartbeats can all be diagnosed using an echocardiogram.
The procedure is also done to make sure your heart is functioning properly after a heart attack or if you suffer from heart disease.
An electrocardiogram is done to make sure the electrical activity of your heart is functioning properly. The electrical activity in your heart makes it contract and pump blood throughout the body.
An electrocardiogram traces the electrical activity of your heart as lines on a piece of paper. We will then analyze the lines traced on the paper to interpret what is going on with your heart. This procedure is commonly called an EKG.
In addition to checking the heart’s electrical activity, an electrocardiogram can be used to find the cause of chest pain, shortness of breath or heart palpitations.
If any of those symptoms is caused by a heart attack, heart disease, angina or inflammation, then it will be picked up in the EKG.
The procedure is also used to examine the thickness of the heart chambers, check on pacemakers and to see how your heart is responding to any prescription medication you are currently taking.
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There are absolutely no risks associated with echocardiograms and electrocardiograms, so you have nothing to worry about prior to the procedure.
The heart is the most vital part of our bodies, so you want to make sure everything is functioning properly. Getting one or both of these procedures done as soon as possible will ensure any potential heart troubles are treated in a timely manner, which is the best way to ensure you stay healthy long into the future.
Located in Fort Meyers, Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida is committed to keeping you healthy in addition to providing quality services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to receive these important tests.