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Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center

Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in North Houston, Tomball, TX

Whether you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or a fluttering sensation in your chest, Waqar Khan, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, Alexander Trujillo, MD, and Steven Napierkowski, MD, at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center may perform an echocardiogram to get detailed images of your heart and diagnose the cause of your symptoms. They conveniently offer echocardiograms in the comfort of the office in Tomball, Texas. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, call or connect online today.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram produces images of your heart and blood vessels using ultrasound. During an echocardiogram at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center, your provider uses a handheld transducer, a device that sends out high-frequency sound waves.

The sound waves safely enter your body, bounce off the structures they encounter inside your body, and travel back to the transducer.

The transducer then sends the information to a computer, where the sound waves are interpreted and turned into detailed images.

An echocardiogram shows details such as the size and shape of your heart, muscle thickness, coronary blood vessels, and heart valve function.

Your provider may also perform a Doppler ultrasound, a specialized type of echocardiogram that shows the blood flowing through your heart.

When do I need an echocardiogram?

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center doctors perform an echocardiogram to diagnose the cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

With an echocardiogram, your doctor can diagnose a wide range of problems, such as:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Leaky heart valves
  • Heart valve diseases
  • Heart murmurs
  • Blood clots
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias)
  • Heart muscle disease
  • Inflammation or fluid buildup around the heart

An echocardiogram often occurs after a heart attack to see the extent of muscle damage.

What type of echocardiogram might I need?

You may undergo one of the following types of echocardiograms, depending on the information Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center needs to obtain:

Transthoracic echocardiogram

Your provider puts gel on your chest and then places the transducer against your skin, moving it around over your heart to get the best images.

Transesophageal echocardiogram

During this type of echocardiogram, a narrow transducer is gently guided down your throat. This procedure often produces better images than a transthoracic echocardiogram because the sound waves don’t need to go through your skin.

Your provider uses a topical anesthetic to numb your throat, then threads the transducer down your esophagus until it’s near your heart.

Stress echocardiogram

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center may combine a stress test with an echocardiogram. You have an echocardiogram, do your stress test, and then have a second echocardiogram when your stress test is over.

If you have symptoms of a heart problem and need diagnostic testing such as an echocardiogram, you can have the procedure done in the comfort of the office at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center. Call or schedule an appointment today.