One of the many diagnostic tools available to Dr. Diego is Echocardiography (or ‘echo’, for short) with Doppler. This technology uses ultrasound to give the doctor a moving picture of the heart. It’s painless and does not expose the patient to radiation. At Cardiology Healthcare, we can perform an echocardiogram right in the clinic. This is a very advanced diagnostic test that is useful for detecting a variety of heart-related disorders. With echocardiography, an instrument called the transducer is placed on your chest. The transducer releases high-frequency sound waves and transmits the ‘echo’ into a moving picture. A Doppler echocardiogram uses a probe to record blood flowing through the heart.
This technique enables Dr. Diego to see the heart and blood in motion. It can be used to evaluate the heart for many different disorders, including:
- Atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
- Damage to the heart muscle, possibly after a heart attack
- Infection in the sac around the heart or in the valves
- Pulmonary hypertension (increase in blood pressure in the arteries or veins of the lungs)
- Abnormal valve action
- Congenital heart disease
- Heart murmurs
- Blood clots associated with stroke
An echocardiogram uses Doppler ultrasound to create an image. It is one of the most widely used tests in cardiology, and can provide a great deal of information about the size and shape of the heart, pumping capacity, and tissue damage. An echo can also help determine whether certain symptoms such as chest pain are related to heart disease.
If the doctor is not able to get a clear picture because of the interference of other body organs or structures, he may use a contrast medium (substance injected into your veins). An echo is often used during a stress test, to assess how well the heart functions when it’s working hard.
Dr. Diego may recommend echocardiography if you have signs or symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath or swelling in the legs. Echocardiography can also help your doctor investigate heart murmurs, which may or may not be a source of concern.
Echo enables Dr. Diego to evaluate the size of your heart, increased thickness of the ventricles due to high blood pressure, heart disease or congenital heart defects. If the heart muscles are weak and are not pumping enough blood, echocardiography may also help determine whether you have coronary heart disease. Echo is also useful for finding blood clots or tumors that could trigger a stroke. If you are experiencing symptoms and you believe you may be a candidate for disorders of the vascular system or heart, call our Miami clinic to make an appointment.