Different types of echocardiograms are done at Central Vermont Medical Center. These include:
An echocardiogram, or ultrasound of the heart, is a test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart. The pictures are recorded on a disc or tape similar to a VCR or disc recording of a movie. From this test, much can be learned about the heart's structure and the blood flow within the heart. There are no known risks associated with this test. It is painless and the test usually takes 20 to 45 minutes.
Preparation for a routine echocardiogram:
No special preparation is needed.
Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
A Transesphageal Echocardiogram (TEE) allows your doctor to record images of your heart from inside your esophagus, or food pipe. Since the esophagus lies just behind the heart, the TEE may provide clearer pictures of the heart's movement than a standard echocardiogram taken from outside the chest.
A flexible tube about the size of your index finger is inserted in your mouth and down the esophagus. At the tip of the tube is a small probe that produced sound waves. The sound waves bounce off your heart and are changed into pictures on a video screen.
Preparation for a TEE procedure:
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night prior to your TEE test
- Do not take any medications (including vitamins and over-the-counter drugs) by mouth prior to the exam
- If you are a diabetic, do not take insulin the morning of the exam since you will not be eating that morning
- Arrange for someone else to drive you home following your test
- Do not drive or operated equipment for the remainder of the day
Cardiac Stress Echo Exam
Sometimes a physician will want to see before and after images of your heart at rest and with exercise. To do this the physician may order a Cardiac Stress-Echo exam which combines both the stress test and the echocardiography exam.
Preparation for a Cardiac Stress Echo:
- Eat a light breakfast
- Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing appropriate for exercise
- Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers- no slippers or heels
- Bring a list of all your medications, how much you take and how often