Heart & Vascular Institute -  - Interventional Cardiovascular Specialist

Heart & Vascular Institute

Interventional Cardiovascular Specialists serving Michigan

An echocardiogram, also known as a diagnostic cardiac ultrasound, is a simple in-office screening that provides in-depth details about the health and function of your heart. If you have a history of heart disease or are at risk of developing heart disease, the cardiologists at Heart & Vascular Institute in Wayne, Dearborn, Detroit, and Southfield, Michigan, provide advanced echocardiogram screenings. Click on the online scheduler to book your appointment or call any office to speak with a team member.

Echocardiogram Q & A

Why do I need an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves — known as an ultrasound — to capture images of your heart. Undergoing an echocardiogram test helps your cardiologist to identify:

  • The shape and size of your heart, as well as the thickness of heart walls
  • Abnormalities of the outer lining of your heart (pericardium)
  • Issues with blood flowing backward (regurgitation)
  • Your heart’s pumping strength
  • Narrow heart valves (stenosis)
  • Tumors or infectious growths
  • Holes between heart chambers
  • Blood clots

Because an echocardiogram is noninvasive and has no side effects, it’s often a first-line type of screening to help your cardiologist evaluate your heart health. 

How does a doctor perform an echocardiogram?

During your echocardiogram at Heart & Vascular Institute, you lie back on a table and relax. Your technician places several electrodes on specific points on your chest. 

These electrodes have wires attached to them that link to the electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG) machine to monitor your heart function.

After placing a clear gel on your chest, your technician glides a handheld transducer over your chest. The transducer sends out high-frequency sound waves that help create images of your heart. (No radiation is used.) 

Your technician may ask you to move into a certain position or hold your breath for brief periods to gather in-depth pictures of your heart and surrounding structures. This type of echocardiogram, called a transthoracic echocardiogram, may be used with a Doppler echocardiogram. 

A Doppler echocardiogram measures the speed and direction of your blood flow through your heart and provides information about what the images show. 

Your entire echocardiogram test takes less than an hour to complete from the time you walk in the door, and you can return to your normal activities afterward. 

What do my echocardiogram results mean?

Once your cardiologist at Heart & Vascular Institute evaluates your echocardiogram, they talk with you about your results. You may meet with your cardiologist right after your echocardiogram or during a follow-up visit. 

Abnormalities shown in your echocardiogram can help your doctor find out why you have:

  • Chest pain
  • Poor blood flow 
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Decreased heart function

Once your cardiologist at Heart & Vascular Institute diagnoses you, they counsel you about any other screenings you may need, as well as any necessary treatments. 

Heart & Vascular Institute provides in-office echocardiograms to evaluate your heart health. You can book your echocardiogram online or by phone with the office nearest you directly.