Echocardiography is a procedure that evaluates the heart by using ultrasound waves. By performing an echocardiogram, Dr. Lipton can accurately diagnose various heart problems and measure the blood flow through the heart. An echocardiogram is a painless procedure with virtually no side effects.
During the examination, a probe is held on the chest. The probe generates ultrasound waves that bounce (or echo) off of the walls and valves of the heart. That same transducer listens to the echos as they return to the probe, and a computer then translates that returned information into a picture of the heart. This picture is then displayed onto a television screen. If the echo machine utilizes 2 Dimensional technology, then the picture of the heart that is created is represented in two dimensions.
The value of diagnostic ultrasound lies in the wealth of accurate information it can deliver about the heart without risk to the patient. Cardiac ultrasound, or echocardiography, helps diagnose heart disease by allowing Dr. Lipton to evaluate blood flow in the heart, measure the size and function of the contracting heart, and study the motion of the heart valves. It provides accurate information that shows diseased areas that might otherwise go undetected.
Live 3D Echocardiography
In contrast to 2 Dimensional echocardiography, Live 3D echo creates a 3 dimensional picture of the heart.
The technology available in the Lipton Echocardiography Laboratory allows for not only 2D Echo but also Live 3D as well. This allows Dr. Lipton to quickly and easily visualize complex cardiac anatomy previously concealed during routine echo exams and provides:
- Better visualization of complex anatomic features
- Better assessment of valvular function
- Better assessment of regional/global function
This diagnostic procedure is used to measure how your heart responds to physical activity. In addition, it can be useful in detecting if the blood flow in your coronary arteries is restricted due to blockages.
During the exam, the patient will be asked to walk on a treadmill. As the treadmill goes faster, the oxygen demands of your body increase and the heart requires more blood and oxygen. If the circulation to the heart is limited, then the patient may experience symptoms related to insufficient blood supply, and there may be EKG changes as well.
The blood supply to the heart is from the coronary arteries. Coronary artery disease (CAD) represents a large percentage of the cardiology workload today. Stress echocardiography combines features of the Stress Test with an echocardiographic study, and is a useful and widely applied clinical tool in the assessment of the heart’ s function and the severity of coronary artery disease. The technique is based on the assumption that insufficient blood supply to the heart resulting from exercise can be detected and localized with echocardiography.
With Stress Echocardiography, the wall motion of the heart at rest is compared to wall motion immediately after peak exercise. Abnormalities that occur with exercise that were not present at rest can indicate insufficient blood and oxygen supply possibly due to blocked coronary arteries.