An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure used to assess the health of your heart. This test is typically beneficial if symptoms point towards any possible cardiac conditions, such as chest pain or trouble breathing. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to study the movement of blood in the heart, which allows doctors to detect any abnormalities within your cardiovascular system. If you have been experiencing symptoms that may be worrying you, be sure to schedule an appointment with a doctor offering an echocardiogram in Philadelphia.
Echocardiograms are typically painless procedures that allow the doctor to look inside your heart, so you need to be prepared for it. Make sure to eat and drink normally, but avoid caffeine or anything fatty. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown for the exam.
To learn more about the procedure, read on.
How to Prepare For an Echocardiogram
The American Heart Association recommends you remain calm and follow your doctor’s advice carefully before having an echocardiogram, as the test is non-invasive, painless, and relatively safe. This procedure allows experts to study the heart without injecting any drugs or performing surgery, reducing recovery time after diagnosis.
You will need to fast for at least six hours before the exam, so you shouldn’t eat or drink anything the morning of your appointment. You may need to change into a hospital gown after arriving at the medical center because this examination won’t require any preparation beforehand. The doctor may give you a warm blanket if you feel colder than usual.
Don’t talk or move during the procedure to make sure the test is as accurate as possible. You will likely need to go through a stress test at some point, so rest or sleep before having this test if necessary.
What to Expect During the Procedure?
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure, so you should expect no pain, discomfort, or side effects from the exam. Your doctor will wrap several tools equipped with ultrasound sensors around your chest and upper arms, which may create mild pressure on your body. These devices make sound waves that bounce off the body’s internal structures to create a moving image on a monitor, which a doctor interprets to diagnose a cardiac condition.
The entire process should take about 30 minutes, but you can expect some soreness following the test if an echocardiogram is performed on your heart’s upper chambers.
Understanding the Results of an Echocardiogram
After the test is over, a doctor will explain the echocardiogram results to you. You should expect a normal test if your heart is usually working and there are no signs of cardiac problems. Your doctor may order an echocardiogram again in six months or sooner if she detects any abnormality during the first exam.
If you want to know more about the test, don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor.
In summary, an echocardiogram is a test to assess the health of your heart. You may need it if you display any symptoms of a heart condition. You should follow any instructions from your doctor before the procedure. During the process, you should stay calm and avoid any movement. After the test, your doctor will break down the results for you.