What are Heart Ultrasounds?
An ultrasound of the heart uses high frequency sound waves to create a live image from inside of a patient’s body. It is a painless test that is very commonly used in the medical field today. An ultrasound is also sometimes referred to as a sonogram, diagnostic sonography, or ultrasonography. The medical professional that performs an ultrasound is called a sonographer.
As an ultrasound uses sound waves rather than radiation, it is regarded as being a safe scan. Because of this, it is the preferred method to use during pregnancy.
An ultrasound diagnoses problems with internal organs, blood vessels, and soft tissue structures within the body. Although generally associated with being used during pregnancy, an ultrasound is used to examine many other parts of the body including the gallbladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, bladder, and many other internal structures.
A transesophageal echocardiogram uses the transducer probe in the esophagus, which is used to take clear images of the heart.
Reasons for a Heart Ultrasound:
Ultrasounds are used for a multitude of reasons. A physician may order an ultrasound if a patient is experiencing any pain, swelling, or other abnormalities that require an internal view of the organs.
A heart ultrasound can be used to guide doctors or surgeons during a procedure, such as a biopsy. They are important in planning for certain types of therapy and surgery, as well as in the aftermath to determine whether the patient’s body is responding to treatment.
Ultrasounds can be used to detect cysts, obstructions, and infections in the body. They can also measure blood flow in the arteries to detect blockages.
An ultrasound may be used to check for certain cancers in various different ways including to detect abnormal tumors, growths or lumps.
A Heart Ultrasound may help diagnose (find):
A heart ultrasound allows the physician to look at the size, shape, and motion of the heart. It shows the four chambers of the heart, the heart valves, the walls of the heart, blood vessels entering and leaving the heart, and the sac that surrounds the heart, otherwise known as the pericardium.
A heart ultrasound is used to see inside of the heart to identify abnormal structures or functions in the valves of the heart of in the heart muscle including a heart murmur or to diagnose valve conditions.
An ultrasound of the heart measures blood flow through the heart and major blood vessels.
An ultrasound of the heart helps detect fluid surround the heart as well as identifies growths in the heart.
A heart ultrasound may help assess and monitor birth defects and help find the cause of chest pain
A heart ultrasound can also help physicians identify blood clots within the heart chambers.