Your Echocardiogram Questions Answered
So, you’ve booked an echocardiogram. You might be nervous or have some questions that you want to be answered before your appointment. As a provider of private echocardiograms, our clients have had a lot of similar concerns to yours. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive at Access MRI to give you peace of mind before your first echocardiogram.
The purpose of an echocardiogram is to observe your heart – how your heart looks, how the valves are working, and how the blood pumps throughout. This is done through sound wave imaging, which allows us to take detailed images of the heart. Echocardiograms can provide answers to questions that you might have about your heart’s health and diagnose issues, so you and your doctor can make proactive decisions about your health knowing the full extent of your heart’s functioning.
Read on to learn about what the echocardiogram can find, what the procedure is like, and what happens afterwards.
What is an echocardiogram used to diagnose?
An echocardiogram allows for an extensive overview of the heart and the components that contribute to its healthy functioning. Because there are so many detailed images taken during this examination, we can see the size of your heart to its unique way of beating. This makes it extremely useful in diagnosing a variety of issues.
Some of the more serious ailments that an echocardiogram can diagnose include:
- Heart damage and problems from coronary artery disease, or blocked arteries.
- Enlargement of the heart or specific areas of the heart.
- Heart valve problems
- The location of blood clots or tumours.
It is important to note that being recommended for an echocardiogram exam does not mean that you are experiencing one of these serious issues. Echocardiograms are an easy way of monitoring a pre-existing condition with your heart, monitor how your heart is responding to other treatments, and just making sure that everything is operating well if you’re experiencing health issues such as shortness of breath.
What happens during an echocardiogram?
During an echocardiogram, you’ll be lying down while the technician presses a wand against your chest. This wand is what sends the sound waves to the heart in order to capture the images. You may be asked to lie in different positions so that the technician can capture different angles and areas of your heart. By the end of the examination, many images of your heart will have been recorded, usually more than 1000 images.
An echocardiogram isn’t a stressful or overwhelming medical procedure. While you may be nervous going in, you’ll quickly find that it is an easy experience. An echocardiogram is not painful; any discomfort you may feel would likely be due to the slightly cool feeling of the wand against your chest and mild pressure from the wand on your chest. An echocardiogram typically takes between 45 minutes to an hour.
How long until I can get the results of my echocardiogram?
At Access MRI, we make it a priority to quickly and efficiently deliver your echocardiogram results. Our radiologists will write an extensive report to send to your doctor between 1 and 2 business days; we are able to send you a copy of this report as well. Arrangements can be made to send you the report on the same day; just let us know when you schedule your appointment.
An echocardiogram is an easy procedure that can help diagnose issues with your heart and make decisions in order to keep living a healthy life. If you’re looking for a private echocardiogram procedure in the Lower Mainland or Fraser Valley, contact Access MRI today. We are conveniently located in Surrey, British Columbia and our short wait times mean that we can perform your procedure within a matter of days so your heart can become as healthy as possible as soon as possible.