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Echocardiogram Specialist

Mission Heart & Vascular

Board Certified Interventional Cardiologists & Peripheral Vascular Disease located in Mission, TX

When you have worrisome heart symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, or an irregular heartbeat, an echocardiogram may be the first diagnostic test you receive. At Mission Heart & Vascular, Gabriel Todd Faz, MD, FACC, FSCAI, and Kiran Mangalpally, MD, perform all of their echocardiograms in the comfort of the office so you don’t have to travel to a lab, and you can count on personalized care. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Mission, Texas, or use online booking.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram, also called a diagnostic cardiac ultrasound, uses high-frequency sound waves to create a detailed image of your heart. 

During an echocardiogram, a probe called a transducer is used to send sound waves safely and painlessly through your body, aiming toward your heart.

The sound waves bounce off structures, echo back to the transducer, and the transducer transmits them to a computer that translates them into images of the heart’s chambers, valves, walls, and blood vessels.

Why might I need an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram helps your doctor at Mission Heart & Vascular diagnose the cause of heart symptoms by revealing information such as:

  • The size and shape of your heart
  • The thickness and movement of muscular walls
  • Your heart’s pumping strength
  • Whether heart valves are healthy and working
  • Tumors or growths
  • Problems with the heart’s lining
  • Blood clots inside the heart
  • Abnormal holes between heart chambers
  • Problems with blood vessels

Since an echocardiogram provides immediate results, your doctor may be able to quickly diagnose the problem and determine the treatment you need.

What are the types of echocardiograms?

There are several types of echocardiograms. Your doctor chooses the one that will provide the information needed to accurately diagnose the problem:

Transthoracic echocardiogram

This is the most common type of echocardiogram. It’s performed by placing the transducer directly against your chest.

Transesophageal echocardiogram

During this type of cardiac ultrasound, your doctor at Mission Heart & Vascular guides a small transducer down your throat and into the esophagus until it’s positioned right next to your heart. This allows the ultrasound to produce a better image because it doesn’t have to go through your skin.

Stress echocardiogram

This is a transthoracic echocardiogram that’s done after you either exercise or take medication to make your heart beat faster. A stress echocardiogram shows how well your heart performs when it’s forced to work harder.

Three-dimensional echocardiogram

Using either the transthoracic or transesophageal method, several ultrasound images are taken from different angles to produce a 3D image.

To schedule an appointment, call Mission Heart & Vascular or use the online booking feature.