Echocardiography, colour droppler, ultrasound
Echocardiography is a test that applies sound waves to generate live images of the heart. The image is termed an echocardiogram. This test enables the doctor to observe how the heart and its valves are functioning.
Types of Echocardiography are:
It is the most popular type of echocardiography. It’s painless and noninvasive.
A machine called a transducer would be put on your chest over the heart. The transducer emits ultrasound waves through the chest toward your heart. A computer represents the sound waves as they bounce back to the transducer. It presents the live images that are displayed on a monitor.
If a transthoracic echocardiogram doesn’t provide clear-cut images or you need to envision the back of the heart better, the doctor may suggest a transesophageal echocardiogram.
In this procedure, the doctor conducts a much smaller transducer below your throat through your mouth. The doctor will anesthetize your throat to make this process easier and remove the gag reflex.
The transducer tube is controlled through your esophagus, the tube that attaches your throat to your stomach. With the transducer following your heart, the doctor can get a more robust view of any problems and envision some chambers of the heart that are not seen on the transthoracic echocardiogram.
A stress echocardiogram applies traditional transthoracic echocardiography. However, the process is done before and after exercised or used medication to make your heart beat faster. This provides th doctor to test how your heart performs under stress.
A three-dimensional (3-D) echocardiogram uses either transesophageal or transthoracic echocardiography to create a 3-D image of your heart. This involves multiple pictures from different angles. It can be used before heart valve surgery. It’s also used to diagnose heart problems in children.
Fetal echocardiography is used on pregnant mothers sometime during weeks 18 to 22 of pregnancy. The transducer is located over the woman’s abdomen to check for heart problems in the fetus. The test is deemed safe for an expected child because it doesn’t apply radiation, unlike an X-ray.