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Just as orthopedists rely on an X-ray to determine whether you’ve broken a bone, cardiologists have a few critical diagnostic imaging tools in their arsenals, starting with the echocardiogram.
Nearly half of adults, an alarmingly large amount, have cardiovascular disease in the United States. This prevalence also means we need to do what we can to stay one step ahead of heart disease, and an echocardiogram can play an invaluable role in this effort.
Fellowship-trained Dr. James Kim and our team understand the importance of being equipped with the right diagnostic tools, which is why we offer echocardiograms right here in our offices.
Here’s a look at the important information an echocardiogram can reveal about the health of your heart.
With an echocardiogram, we use sound waves to get a closer glimpse of your heart. You might already be familiar with this technology — think of ultrasounds of your unborn children, for example.
The sound waves bounce off of the structures of your heart and return to the surface, where we collect the data and send it to a computer that creates an image. This may sound like a lengthy process, but it happens almost instantaneously.
An echocardiogram can supply us with a wealth of information about your heart, including:
As you can see, this advanced imaging tool is critical for determining the state of your heart and how it’s functioning. When it comes to diagnosing and treating issues like congestive heart failure, valvular disease, or the myriad other issues that can affect your heart, an echocardiogram is a true workhorse.
Diagnostically, we greatly appreciate the echocardiogram, but our patients appreciate the test because it’s painless and quick.
There’s nothing you need to do to prepare for an echocardiogram, though you may want to wear some comfortable, loose clothing. When you arrive, we make you comfortable on our imaging table, apply a gel to your body that helps conduct the sound waves, and run a wand over your chest.
We may ask you to hold your breath once in a while to get certain images, but mostly all you need to do is lie back and relax.
Once we’re finished, we clean off the gel and you’re free to get on with your day.
If you have more questions about the echocardiogram and how it can help you, contact us at one of our offices in Chula Vista or National City, California, to schedule an appointment.