Went to see a cardiologist today for the first time and tomorrow I'm scheduled to go in for an "Echo". Can someone please tell what this Echo is all about? Is this a good test for pinpointing problems? Thanks.
Rob, a Echo is like a ultrasound, but it's a ultrasound of your heart. They are able to see the size of your heart, how much blood is puming in and out of each chamber and they are able to hear the way your heart is beating. They are able to tell if your heart is not pumping enough blood in or out, how each valve is opening and closing. You are usually able to see your heart on the monitor. It's painless. I actruelly get two every year Iwill have mine next Monday. I hope everything goes well for you.
Rob they will have you walk on the treadmill to try to get your heart rate up to a certain amount and then very quickly you will lie down on a table while they do an ultrasound of your heart at work. There't no pain involved you'll just work up a really good sweat on the treadmill. You may even be able to see the screen that your doctor is watching I believe it is a good test although not infallible.
An echo is an Echocardiogram, which is, as stated here, an ultasound of the heart.
Basically there are 3 types:
My guess is that they will do the Transthoracic Echocardiogram. It sounds much more complicated than it is. It is probably the most routine echo they do. Here is a description of it:
"Echocardiograms: Ultrasound waves are transmitted, and their echoes are recorded with a device called a transducer. It looks a little like a microphone. A computer uses the information from the transducer to create moving images on a video monitor. Several types of echocardiograms are available. Each is specially suited for different situations or problems.
-Transthoracic. A technician spreads gel on your chest and then presses a transducer firmly against your skin. You may be asked to breathe in a certain way or to roll over onto your left side. Sometimes, the transducer must be held very firmly against your chest and this pressure can be uncomfortable, especially over your ribs."
Like they said, the transducer they mention looks like a microphone or a short wand that they move over your chest area. It is painless, and not very uncomfortable. Echos record images of the heart.. it determines the heart's functioning capabilities and it measures the size of the heart.
Thanks Jamora, NineLives, and Eileen for your responses. Had the echocardiagram today and it was a "piece of cake". I hope to have the results tomorrow. I had typed up a list of questions for the cardiologist but he wasn't available. I left the list at his office and left word that I wanted answers to all my questions when he calls me with the results of my echo. Many thanks for the kind words. Take care. Rob.