Cardiologist located in Philadelphia, PA
If you have symptoms of heart problems, it can help to see what's going on inside your heart. An echocardiogram is a diagnostic technology that board-certified cardiologist Sanul Corrielus, MD, MBA, FACC, and his team at Corrielus Cardiology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, use to measure the electrical activity in your heart. Having an echocardiogram could provide the information the team needs to ensure you get the right treatment. Call Corrielus Cardiology to find out more about this painless outpatient procedure, or book an appointment online today.
What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a diagnostic tool that uses ultrasound technology. It tests how your heart beats and pumps blood, and how blood flows in and through your heart.
The Corrielus Cardiology team uses echocardiograms to diagnose conditions such as:
- Congenital heart disease
- Aortic stenosis
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Valvular sclerosis
- Valvular regurgitation
- Pericardial effusion
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure
Heart disease causes many deaths for both men and women in the United States and around the world. An echocardiogram is a safe, highly effective study that can help prevent heart disease.
How does an echocardiogram work?
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to generate moving pictures of your heart.
The echocardiogram machine has a transducer, which is a handpiece that transmits sound waves into your chest. The sound waves bounce back to the transducer, which relays the information to a computer.
The different patterns made by the sound waves as they bounce back off your heart give the Corrielus Cardiology team a clear view of your heart's size and shape, and how it's functioning.
What happens when I go for an echocardiogram?
The procedure can vary depending on which type of echocardiogram you're having. The standard test is the transthoracic echocardiogram, which is just like having an abdominal ultrasound.
The technician applies a slippery gel to your chest and passes the transducer over your skin. The gel helps the transducer slide smoothly and improves the quality of the images.
This process shouldn't feel painful, but you might experience pressure on your chest if the technician needs to press down to get a better picture.
Are there different types of echocardiograms?
In some cases, you might require a different type of echocardiogram, such as a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE). With TEE, the transducer is shaped more like a slender probe.
The technician passes the transducer down your throat while you're under sedation. A TEE gets closer to your heart, so you might need one if your provider at Corrielus Cardiology needs to see your heart in more detail.
When would I need to have an echocardiogram?
The Corrielus Cardiology team might recommend you have an echocardiogram if you have symptoms of heart problems such as:
- Chest pain
- Atrial fibrillation (fast, irregular heartbeat)
- Presyncope (feeling faint and lightheaded)
- Shortness of breath
- Heart murmur
- Malignant hypertension (dangerously high blood pressure)
You might also need an echocardiogram if you have congestive heart failure or suffer a transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini-stroke).
Find out more about echocardiogram and other state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies by calling Corrielus Cardiology today or booking an appointment online.