What Is An Echocardiogram?
There are different types of echocardiograms and your doctor will help determine which is best for you.
Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE): This test requires that the transducer be inserted down the throat into the esophagus (the swallowing tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). Because the esophagus is located close to the heart, clear images of the heart structures can be obtained without the interference of the lungs and chest.
Transthoracic echocardiogram: This is the standard echocardiogram. It is a painless test similar to X-ray, but without the radiation. The procedure uses the same technology used to evaluate a baby’s health before birth. A hand-held device called a transducer is placed on the chest and transmits high frequency sound waves (ultrasound). These sound waves bounce off the heart structures, producing images and sounds that can be used by the doctor to detect heart damage and disease.
Stress echocardiogram: This is an echocardiogram that is performed while the person exercises on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. This test can be used to visualize the motion of the heart’s walls and pumping action when the heart is stressed. It may reveal a lack of blood flow that isn’t always apparent on other heart tests. The echocardiogram is performed just prior and just after the exercise.
We will provide portable echomachine and a certified Tech to perform the test. A certified cardiologist will interpret all studies and a report will be delivered to the primary physician’s office.
How Does It Work?
A stress echocardiography test is performed to evaluate cardiac function at increased target heart rate and determine your likelihood of having coronary artery disease. During a stress echo, images of the heart at rest and during stress are obtained with a Doppler echocardiogram. A Doppler echocardiogram uses high frequency waves called ultrasound to provide pictures of the heart’s valves and chambers. In order to obtain pictures when the heart is stressed your heart rate must be increased. An increased heart rate is achieved by walking on a treadmill at various levels. A stress echo detects abnormal cardiac wall motion that could be caused by decreased blood flow in the coronary arteries. The decreased blood flow may be secondary to blockage in the coronary arteries, thus diagnosing coronary artery disease (CAD).
How Safe is an Echo Stress Test?
There is minimal risk during the stress part of the test, which is similar to the risk of any normal exercises or daily activities (walking, jogging, running up a flight of stairs, etc.). As noted earlier, medical personnel administering the test can stop the test and assist you with any complications or discomfort you may experience.
Who Should Come In?
It is a 2-D imaging test that illustrates the movement of blood throughout the chambers of the heart, heart valves, and blood vessels. It is a painless test similar to X-ray, but without the radiation. The procedure uses the same technology used to evaluate a baby’s health before birth. A hand-held device called a transducer is placed on the chest and transmits high frequency sound waves (ultrasound). These sound waves bounce off the heart structures, producing images and sounds that can be used by the doctor to detect heart damage and disease.
How Long will the Test Take?
Stress echo tests take approximately 45-60 minutes. When the test is finished you can resume your normal routine. Ask the doctor about resuming any medications you were advised to skip before the test. The cardiologist will discuss the results with you on the same day of your test.
Recommendations To Obtain Optimum Results?
Should I Take Any Medications on the Day of the Test?
Do not take any medications that can slow down your heart rate during the test, such as Beta-Blockers and Calcium Channel Blockers (examples listed below, these medications cannot be taken for 24 hours prior to the test).
No Beta Blockers such as: Metoprolol (brand names: Lopressor, Toprol XL), Propranolol (brand names: Inderal, Inderal LA), Atenolol (brand name: Tenormin), Carvedilol (brand name: Coreg), and Labetalol (brand names: Normodyne, Trandate)
No Calcium Channel Blockers such as: Diltiazem (brand names: Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) and Verapamil (brand names: Calan, Verelan, Verelan PM, Isoptin, Isoptin SR)
Guidelines for diabetics:
If you are diabetic please do not take your diabetic medication on the day of the test. Bring your diabetes medications with you so you can take it after the test is finished. If you think your blood sugar is low tell the technician immediately before the test begins.
Healtheon Medical Services
If you have any questions for Healtheon Medical Services or need more information about the services we offer, please feel free to contact us using the phone numbers, e-mail addresses or the quick contact form below. We’d love to hear from you!
La Grande Place: 1350 Deer Park Avenue, North Babylon, NY 11703