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Echocardiogram Specialist

Trident Cardiology Associates, P.A.

Cardiology & Interventional Cardiology located in Ladson, SC & Walterboro, SC

An echocardiogram is one of the first noninvasive tests you receive to diagnose the cause of chest pain, a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, or other heart symptoms. The experienced team at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, offers prompt, high-quality echocardiograms, which they conveniently perform at their imaging center. If you have questions about an echocardiogram or need to schedule an appointment, call the office in Ladson, Walterboro, or Moncks Corner, South Carolina, or use the online booking feature today.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram, also called an echo or sonogram, is a noninvasive test that uses ultrasound to produce detailed images of your heart. A standard echocardiogram provides information about the structures in your heart. A Doppler ultrasound shows the flow of blood and movement in the muscles and valves.

Your sonographer at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, performs your echocardiogram using a device called a transducer or probe. The transducer sends sound waves into your body, where they bounce off tissues and return to the device. The transducer sends the information to a computer, which produces real-time images of your heart.

What does an echocardiogram reveal about my heart?

Echocardiograms reveal a wide range of information about your heart, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Chamber size
  • Muscle thickness
  • Blood vessel blockages
  • Areas of muscle damage
  • Fluid buildup or inflammation
  • Valve and muscle function
  • Blood flow through the heart
  • Squeezing or pumping function of the heart (systolic function)
  • Relaxing or filling function of the heart (diastolic function)

If you had a heart procedure or take medications for a cardiovascular condition, an echocardiogram allows your provider to evaluate the effectiveness of your treatment.

What heart conditions does an echocardiogram diagnose?

The team at Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, often uses an echocardiogram to diagnose:

  • Heart failure
  • Inflamed pericardium
  • Fluid around the heart
  • Leaky heart valves (regurgitation)
  • Heart valve narrowing (stenosis)
  • Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy)
  • Atrial fibrillation and other heart arrhythmias
  • Coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis)
  • Muscle damage due to a heart attack

After your provider diagnoses your heart condition, they use information from your echocardiogram to guide treatment decisions.

What should I expect during an echocardiogram?

Your sonographer places a small amount of ultrasound jelly on the probe and then places the device against your skin in the area above your heart.

They move the probe around, sometimes pressing down to get the best images. You may feel pressure, but your echocardiogram should never be uncomfortable or painful.

In some cases, you may need an IV so your provider can infuse a mixture of saline and microscopic air bubbles. Your echo picks up the bubbles as they flow through your heart.

Your results may be available as soon as 24 hours after your echocardiogram. Then your cardiologist talks with you about your heart and recommends treatment.

If you have questions about echocardiograms or need to schedule an appointment, call Trident Cardiology Associates, PA, or request an appointment online today.