An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of your heart. It’s sometimes called a cardiac ultrasound, echo test, or simply an echo. An echocardiogram creates moving pictures that show how your heart pumps blood, as well as its size and structure. Doctors use echocardiograms to treat and diagnose heart conditions such as heart defects, heart failure, heart valve disease, heart attack, and blood clots.
Call Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospitals at (702) 616-4900 or use our online tool to find a cardiologist with expertise in reading and evaluating echocardiogram in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
When Do You Need a Cardiac Ultrasound?
Your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram if you have:
- Irregular heart sounds (heart murmur)
- Symptoms of a heart condition, including fainting or dizzy spells, shortness of breath, chest pain, unexplained fatigue, or swollen legs or ankles
- Existing heart conditions, including coronary artery disease or heart failure
- Recent stroke, heart attack, or certain types of surgery
Understanding the Results of Your Echo Test
Your doctor will talk to you about your echocardiogram results as soon as possible after the test. An echocardiogram helps diagnose:
- Congenital heart defects and irregular heart structures
- Problems with the heart valves, including narrowing (stenosis) and leaking
- Signs of weakening or damage to the heart muscle due to heart attack or narrowing of the coronary arteries
- Thickening of the heart’s chambers or heart enlargement, which are linked to heart failure, high blood pressure, heart defects, and heart valve disease
- Blood clots inside the heart, which could cause a stroke
Your doctor may order other tests with or after an echocardiogram to get a complete picture of your heart health. These tests may include a 3-D echocardiogram.
What to Expect From Your Echocardiogram at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican Hospitals
An ultrasound technician or doctor will perform your echocardiogram in a Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican hospital clinic, operating room, or emergency room. A typical echocardiogram is painless and has no known risks or complications.
Usually, an echocardiogram involves lying down on your left side or back. The technician will gently roll a transducer (ultrasound wand) over the surface of your chest. The transducer is a device that sends and receives sound waves, which produce an image of your heart on a monitor. The technician may ask you to hold your breath at times or make small movements as needed during the test.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican performs diagnostic procedures and cardiology services including echocardiogram in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.