Echocardiography is the use of an echocardiogram to detect possible problems in your heart through sound wave imaging. This can be very helpful in diagnosing a number of heart issues, and related problems. The major conditions it can detect are an accumulation of liquid around the heart that can impair its functioning, blockage of arteries feeding the heart, and formation of blood clots. Apart from heart diseases, echocardiography may be an important tool to diagnose possible health problems in unborn babies still inside their mothers’ bodies.
Echocardiography is painless to have done on you, and there are not many dangers of side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to have it performed if you suspect abnormalities within your heart. Do it with your doctor’s prescription only, as they might warn you of any dangers and advise you against the procedure if necessary.
What are the types of echocardiography?
Following are the several types:
• Transthoracic: this is the most popular variety of echocardiography, and also very safe in terms of painfulness, and possible invasion of your internal organs. It is done with the help of a transducer, which inspects the conditions inside your heart and relays it back to a monitor outside.
• Transesophageal: this is done in case the transthoracic variety fails. In that case, a surgical tube is inserted through the throat area of the patient, starting from the mouth cavity, which helps to image the patient’s insides and display the findings on a monitor outside.
• Stress: in this variety, the procedure followed is the same as that of the transthoracic process. You will have a transducer relay information from your insides to the outer machines. The only difference is you’ll be asked to exercise or do something similar to accelerate your heartbeat so that the echocardiogram can gauge how your heart is performing under stress.
• 3D: in this procedure, the images fed by the transducer to the outside monitor are made 3 dimensional instead of the usual 2 dimensional, giving this process its name.
• Fetal: in this process, an unborn baby or fetus is inspected for probable heart defects while still inside the body of its mother. It usually is recommended for when a mother is 18 to 22 weeks pregnant. This process is also non-harmful or non-invasive as it doesn’t use rays like X-rays to complete the examination.
Can echocardiography diagnose heart blockage, and if yes, how?
Yes, echocardiography can successfully diagnose heart blockage.
The reasons for heart blockages are:
• Deposition of fat or tissue or fluid in the region surrounding the heart, or within the heart wall, making it unable to function. In such cases, the heart is considered blocked.
• Formation of blood clots in any of the blood vessels leading up to or away from the heart, in which case also the heart cannot carry out its normal blood pumping and regulatory function.
• Formation of clots, fluid or other obstruction in other parts of the heart, also a reason why the heart cannot pass materials into or out from itself.
Echocardiography detects specifically these abnormalities in the heart, which is why it can be considered a very useful tool in diagnosing heart blockage. In fact, echocardiography is performed for detecting these exact problems.
Echocardiography is a painless and harmless procedure that uses waves to accurately represent the current state of functioning of your heart. It is specifically useful for diagnosing heart blockage, and blockages in arteries. If you think you need to be checked for these conditions, you should see your doctor for echocardiography right now.