Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona
General Cardiology & Vascular Medicine located in Phoenix, Goodyear, Chandler, & Maricopa, AZ
An echocardiogram employs ultrasound technology with high-frequency sound waves that rebound when they contact your heart. The echoing sound waves produce detailed images that your provider at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona can view on a monitor and use to diagnose your condition. The practice provides state-of-the-art echocardiogram facilities at its locations in Phoenix, Maricopa, Goodyear, and Chandler, Arizona. Take advantage of these convenient services by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online today.
What is an echocardiogram?
Echocardiograms are also known as diagnostic cardiac ultrasounds. They are a valuable tool for the team at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona when evaluating the cause of heart-related symptoms.
During your echocardiogram, the ultrasound technician uses a probe that emits sound waves, called a transducer. You can't hear any noise as the pitch is too high for human ears, and you won't feel the sound waves either.
As the sound reaches your heart, it bounces back to the transducer and passes the information to the echocardiogram's computer.
The echoes range in frequency depending on the shape and density of the tissues, so the computer can interpret them and form a visual representation of your heart and its chambers, valves, and blood vessels.
Why might I need an echocardiogram?
If you visit Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona with heart disorder symptoms, you may need an echocardiogram. Echocardiogram images identify problems such as:
- Cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease)
- Blood vessel abnormalities
- Blood clots inside your heart
- Holes between the chambers
- Tumors or growths
The images on the screen reveal your heart's inner workings in detail. Your provider can see the size and shape of your heart, the thickness of its walls, how efficiently it's pumping blood, and the health of your valves.
What type of echocardiogram might I need?
The type of echocardiogram you need depends on your symptoms and what your provider at Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona is hoping to determine. Possible procedures include:
The first type of echocardiogram patients typically have is a transthoracic echocardiogram. This is a non-invasive test where your technician passes the transducer over the skin on your chest.
If a resting transthoracic echocardiogram doesn't reveal clues to your condition, you might need to have a stress echocardiogram. In this procedure, you make your heart work harder by running on a treadmill, or, if you're unable to exercise, take medication to produce the same effect.
If you have thick fatty tissues or there's scarring on your chest, a routine transthoracic echocardiogram might not be able to produce a clear image of your heart. If this happens, you might need to have a transesophageal echocardiogram instead.
To perform the procedure, your provider passes a slender transducer down your esophagus after numbing your throat. The transesophageal transducer operates from a position close to your heart, ensuring the images are clear.
Affiliated Cardiologists of Arizona has state-of-the-art echocardiogram facilities on-site for your convenience. To benefit from the team's expertise, call the office nearest you or book an appointment online today.