Why do you need an Echocardiogram?
Family Healthcare & Cardiac Center
Cardiovascular clinic with trusted cardiologist & vein specialists, offering wide range of vascular tests, imaging & treatments in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.
An echocardiogram (or cardiac echo, or echo) is a picture of the heart produced with sound waves. (An echocardiogram is not an ECG. That’s an electrocardiogram.) There are lots of reasons why a primary care provider or heart doctor would want to perform an echocardiogram. The test is used to diagnose, manage, and provide follow-up monitoring for virtually all heart conditions.
Echocardiograms are not routine tests for healthy, symptom-free people. If you are worried about preventing heart disease, paying attention to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices will have more impact than an unnecessary echocardiogram.
Different types and arrangements of ultrasound waves create different types of sonogram images. Using doppler ultrasounds, an echocardiogram can show the direction and velocity of blood moving through the heart. Three-dimensional sonograms provide more realistic images of the heart, but classic two-dimensional sonograms are more useful for getting certain pieces of information. Your primary doctor or heart specialist may want to use several different echocardiograms to get a clear picture of your unique health status.
Luckily, echocardiograms are completely painless and non-invasive. And unlike x-rays, ultrasound waves do not contain dangerous radiation. They have no known risks or side effects, even if given frequently.
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