If you have symptoms that may indicate a heart condition or have existing heart issues, you may need an echocardiogram (ECG or EKG). At both the Belleville and Fairview Heights, Illinois, offices of Advanced Heart Care, the team of board-certified cardiologists offers in-house echocardiogram testing. This painless, noninvasive test can provide valuable information about your heart health and identify issues that need further treatment. Find out more about the benefits of an echocardiogram today by calling Advanced Heart Care or by booking an appointment online now.
Echocardiogram Q & A
Why do I need an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to create visual images of your heart chambers and valves.
Your Advanced Heart Care physician may recommend an echocardiogram to:
- Detect heart disease
- Monitor heart treatments
- Diagnose unexplained symptoms
- Evaluate the functionality of your heart
If you have an existing heart valve disease, you may need a routine echocardiogram to track the progression of the disease.
How do I prepare for an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram requires no special preparations. You can eat and drink before the test and take your usual medications.
For your convenience, Advanced Heart Care offers on-site echocardiograms in a comfortable exam room. You may want to wear loose-fitting clothing during the test to stay comfortable.
What can I expect during an echocardiogram?
During your echocardiogram, you’ll need to wear a gown to make it easier to access your chest. Your Advanced Heart Care provider places electrode patches on the surface of your chest. These patches, which are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor, record the electrical activity in your heart.
Your physician then places a handheld transducer over your chest to collect images of your heart’s structures. To prevent friction and ensure a clear picture, they apply a gel over your skin before this part of the test.
An echocardiogram is painless, but you may need to change positions throughout the test, which can be uncomfortable. You may also have some discomfort if your physician needs to press on your chest to get a clear picture of your heart.
Immediately after the test is complete, you can go back to your usual routine without any limitations or need for recovery.
What if my echocardiogram shows heart problems?
Because the results of an echocardiogram are in real-time, your Advanced Heart Care provider may identify issues like valve damage or heart defects during the test. If any areas of concern show up on your test, your physician may recommend additional testing.
If your physician diagnoses a heart condition, you can rely on the expertise of the Advanced Heart Care team to create a custom treatment plan to address your issues and prevent long-term health problems.
If you need a reliable diagnosis of heart-related symptoms, schedule an appointment at the Advanced Heart Care office nearest you by phone or by using the online booking feature.