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ULTRASOUND EXAMINATIONS

Diagnostics

Echocardiography, Transthoracic (TTE)

An echocardiography, more commonly referred to as an 'Echo', is an ultrasound scan of the heart

What is an Echocardiography and how does it work?

It is used to assess the structure and function of the heart and visualize the valves, heart chambers, heart muscle and blood flow to give a detailed picture of cardiac health.

 

Complex measurements are made from the images obtained and depending on the reason for your referral, a more focused view of some areas may be performed. An echo is used in the diagnosis of many conditions and is also used to exclude others.

 

There are various ways an echo can be carried out, but most people will have a transthoracic Echocardiography (TTE).

 

 

echo-doppler vascular, arteries and vein

Why would you need an Echocardiography?

An Echo is used in the diagnosis of many conditions and is also used to exclude others.

 

Your cardiologist would recommend it to evaluate the structure of your heart and the functional aspect: the movement of the heart walls and the function of the heart valves.

 

The echocardiography is being performed for all cardiological conditions, including screening for heart disease in diabetics and patients with high blood pressure, athletes and whenever heart disease is suspected.

 

What happens during an Echocardiography?

For the TTE you will be asked to remove the clothing from the top half of your body and a gown will be offered. Three sticky pads, electrodes, are places on your chest and wires attached. These are used to monitor your heart rhythm during the test. The lighting in the room will be lowered to assist viewing of your images.

You will spend most of the scan lying on your left side, and the cardiac physiologist will position a probe with gel on it over various areas of your chest to obtain a series of images from your 'echo window'. You will lay on your back for part of the scan and may be asked to cough at certain times. During the scan, you will occasionally hear noises as blood flow is measured.

 

The scan usually takes about 20-30 minutes. Once completed the gel is wiped off the chest and you can then get dressed. Your cardiologist will discuss the findings with you right away.

 

There is no special preparation for an Echo.

 

Aftercare

None needed

 

 

Diagnostics

Transesophageal Echocardiography  (TEE)

Sometimes a Transthoracic Echocardiography does not provide a clear enough image of the heart, and a Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE) is required to provide the required information.

What is a TEE and how does it work?

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An ultrasound probe is passed down the esophagus (food pipe quite similar to a gastroscopy) in order to obtain a clearer view of the heart through sound waves emitted from and return to the probe.

 

During the procedure, you lie on your left-hand side on a bed and a sedative is usually administered.

 

A local anesthetic may be  applied to the back of the throat to aid the passage of the probe down your throat. You can breathe normally while the probe is there.

 

 

Echo TEE Transoesophageal Echocardiograp

The exam normally lasts  about 10 to 20 minutes and there isn't any pain, although some discomfort may be felt when the probe is first fed into your mouth and down the oesophagus. You will be able to continue with your normal routine shortly after the procedure has been completed.

 

Why would you need a TEE?

Visualization of heart structures closer to the back are very difficultly with the usual Transthoracic Echocardiogram. 

Some conditions requiring a TEE are:

 

  • r/out atrial thrombosis formation prior to a cardioversion procedure

  • Open foramen ovale and atrial septum defect

  • Aortic valve disease evaluation

  • Mitral valve disease evaluation

  • Aorta ascendens evaluation

  • Suspected endocarditis (hear valve infection)

 

During the TEE test

During the procedure, you lie on your left-hand side on a bed and a sedative is usually administered. A local anesthetic  maybe applied to the back of the throat to aid the passage of the probe down your throat, and you can breathe normally while the probe is there.

 

It normally lasts for 20 minutes and there isn't any pain, although some discomfort may be felt when the probe is first fed into your mouth and down the esophagus. 

You will be monitored the entire time.

 

Aftercare

If you have received light sedation during the procedure, you will not be allowed to drive after the test. Make sure you are being accompanied in this case.

 

If you have received numbing medication to your throat, you may not be allowed to eat for a few hours after the procedure because your swallowing reflex may be impaired, and the risk of aspiration is high. 

 

 

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Diagnostics

Echo-Doppler Vascular Ultrasound, Arteries and Veins

Ultrasound exam with visualization of the blood flow within the vessels to diagnose narrowings or thrombosis

What is a Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound and how does it work?

A Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive test that can be used to estimate the blood flow through your blood vessels by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off circulating red blood cells. A regular ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images but can't show blood flow.

 

A Doppler ultrasound can estimate how fast blood flows by measuring the rate of change in its pitch (frequency). During a Doppler ultrasound, a doctor presses a small hand-held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another as necessary.

 

This test may be done as an alternative to more-invasive procedures, such as angiography, which involves injecting dye into the blood vessels so that they show up clearly on X-ray images.

 

echo-doppler vascular, arteries and vein

Why would you need a Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound?

 

A Doppler ultrasound may help diagnose many conditions, including:

 

Venous conditions:

    •      Blood clots (thrombosis)

    •      Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins, which can cause blood or other fluids to pool in

your legs (venous insufficiency, varicose veins)

 

Arterial conditions:

    •      A blocked artery ( peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis)

    •      Decreased blood circulation into your legs (peripheral artery disease)

    •      Bulging, dilated arteries (aneurysms, Aortic aneurysm)

    •      Narrowing of an artery, such as in your neck (carotid artery stenosis)

 

During the Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound test

You are asked to lie flat on the exam stretcher or when the leg veins are being evaluated, you may be asked to sit up or even stand up, to allow the veins to fill up approximately. 

 

Aftercare

None needed

 

 

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Echo-Doppler Ultrasound Pelvic and Penile Arteries and Veins

Diagnostics

Echo-doppler test of these specific vessels, the penile and pelvic arteries and the pelvic veins, which are of special interest in certain medical conditions of men and women.

What is the Echo-Doppler Ultrasound of the pelvic and penile arteries and veins and how does it work?

A Doppler ultrasound is a noninvasive test that can be used to estimate the blood flow through your blood vessels by bouncing high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) off circulating red blood cells. A regular ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images but can't show blood flow.

 

A Doppler ultrasound can estimate how fast blood flows by measuring the rate of change in its pitch (frequency). During a Doppler ultrasound, a doctor presses a small hand-held device (transducer), about the size of a bar of soap, against your skin over the area of your body being examined, moving from one area to another as necessary.

 

This test may be done as an alternative to more-invasive procedures, such as angiography, which involves injecting dye into the blood vessels so that they show up clearly on X-ray images.

 

echo-doppler vascular, arteries and vein

Why would you need a Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound of the pelvic and penile arteries and veins?

 

Vascular conditions of your pelvis or your penis:

 

For men:

   

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Varicocele

 

For women:

  • Pelvic venous stasis syndrome

 

During the Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound of the pelvic and penile arteries and veins

You will be asked to lie down on the exam stretcher. In case of the arterial penile Echo-Doppler exam, you will be administered a special medication called Aprostadil, a vasodilator, to your penis, to enhance the arteries for better visualization. 

 

Aftercare

None needed

 

 

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Carotid Artery Echo-Doppler

Diagnostics

Echo-Doppler (ultrasound with color-flow doppler) investigation of your neck arteries

What is a Carotid Artery Echo-Doppler and how does it work?

A carotid Doppler is an imaging test used to help determine atherosclerosis (calcified deposits) in the carotid arteries (arteries getting blood to your brain).

 

It uses ultrasound and color-doppler flow functions to examine the carotid arteries, which can show a narrowing or blockage in the arteries due to a build-up of plaque and determine the amount of blood flow available to the brain despite of the blockage.

echo-doppler vascular, arteries and vein

Why would you need a Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound?

 

A Doppler ultrasound may help diagnose many conditions, including:

 

Venous conditions:

    •      Blood clots (thrombosis)

    •      Poorly functioning valves in your leg veins, which can cause blood or other fluids to pool in your legs (venous insufficiency, varicose veins)

 

Arterial conditions:

    •      A blocked artery ( peripheral artery disease, atherosclerosis)

    •      Decreased blood circulation into your legs (peripheral artery disease)

    •      Bulging, dilated arteries (aneurysms, Aortic aneurysm)

    •      Narrowing of an artery, such as in your neck (carotid artery stenosis)

 

During the Vascular Echo-Doppler Ultrasound test

You are asked to lie flat on the exam stretcher or when the leg veins are being evaluated, you may be asked to sit up or even stand up, to allow the veins to fill up approximately. 

 

Aftercare

None needed

 

 

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