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Gulf Coast Cardiology Group PLLC

Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Internal Medicine located in Port Arthur, TX

If chest pain and shortness of breath are causing you concern, you may benefit from a diagnostic echocardiogram. At Gulf Coast Cardiology Group PLLC in Port Arthur, Texas, the experienced cardiology team offers in-office echocardiograms. This procedure can quickly and accurately diagnose the root cause of unexplained symptoms that could point to underlying heart conditions. Don’t put off diagnostic testing for heart-related issues. Schedule a consultation by calling the office or requesting an appointment online today.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging test. It uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. High-frequency sound waves bounce off the inner structures of your heart, and the technology sends real-time pictures to an external monitor.

During an echocardiogram, your doctor at Gulf Coast Cardiology Group watches the monitor and identifies abnormalities in the heart, including issues involving your:

  • Heart valves
  • Heart chambers
  • Heart size
  • Blood vessels entering and leaving the heart
  • Blood flow through the heart

Using your test results, your doctor determines if your heart is healthy, if you need more diagnostic testing, and what treatment is right for you.

Why do I need an echocardiogram?

You may need an echocardiogram as part of a routine heart screening or to help your doctor diagnose the cause of unexplained symptoms, like shortness of breath or irregular heartbeat that relate to:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Birth defects
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve disease

The Gulf Coast Cardiology Group team often recommends an echocardiogram as part of your diagnostic evaluation, either on its own or in together with other diagnostic tests.

What can I expect during an echocardiogram?

During your echocardiogram, you lie back and relax on an exam table. The test isn’t painful, but you may feel some occasional pressure as your doctor presses the transducer against your chest to get clear pictures of your heart.

Your doctor places electrodes on several areas of your chest that connect to an electrocardiograph machine. These electrodes monitor information about your heartbeat throughout your test.

Your doctor applies a gel to your chest to allow the echocardiogram’s hand-held transducer to move easily across the surface of your skin. The transducer is positioned over your heart to view images of its inner structures. Throughout the test, you may need to hold your breath to allow the clearest picture of your heart.  

What results can I expect?

Normal results are a healthy heart function and blood successfully flowing through your heart chambers and valves. But you could still have heart disease.

Abnormal results can show problems like:

  • Thickened heart muscle walls
  • Blood leaking backward from your heart valves
  • Restricted blood flow in one of your heart valves
  • Irregular movement of your heart muscle

Based on your results, your doctor develops a customized treatment plan.

To learn more about the diagnostic benefits of an echocardiogram, schedule a consultation with Gulf Coast Cardiology Group today by calling the office or requesting your visit online.