When a person thinks about all of the wonderful things that their body can do, it is sometimes easy to forget that the body in essence is a large machine. At its center is the heart. If you were to break down what the heart was in mechanical terms, it is basically a two-stage electrical pump. It circulates fluids throughout your body. Like any other pump, your heart has chambers and valves. The only way for your heart to work is if all of these structures are intact and if they function in a coordinated way. You need your blood to not only flow in or out of the chamber, but you also need it to flow in the right direction. Any abnormalities in this will affect your health and could put your life at risk. An echocardiogram is a test that is designed to use sound to look at your heart to produce a drawing.
This test uses ultrasound in order to examine and evaluate the different parts of your heart. Most importantly, it can determine the direction that your blood is flowing in your heart. Our technicians who perform the procedure use it to create images or videos to look at your heart from different angles in different directions. Our team of experienced professionals is trained to look at these images to determine how well your heart is functioning. They then take the information that they gather, and they present it to you along with suggestions on how to improve or maintain the function of your heart.
There are other procedures that are done to examine the condition of your heart. Another common one is electrocardiograms, also known as EKGs. During this procedure, electrodes are placed on your chest wall, and they show how the electricity in your heart is functioning. It looks at your heart’s rhythm and your heartbeat, but it cannot directly identify how blood is flowing within your arteries. It can produce indirect evidence that would indicate whether you had a problem with blood flow or if there was a problem with the health of your heart muscles.
An echocardiogram is considered to be a comfortable procedure, and you have absolutely no side effects. You do not need to prepare at all for the procedure. There is no need to fast, and there is no need to avoid certain beverages beforehand.
An echocardiogram is just one of several tests we are able to perform at Cardiology Consultants of Southwest Florida. During a consultation at our office in Fort Myers, you can learn more about this procedure and whether or not it may help in your case. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.