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Ultrasounds Specialist

Apex Cardiology Consultants -  - Interventional Cardiology

Apex Cardiology Consultants

Interventional Cardiology & General Cardiology located in Inglewood, CA

Ultrasounds, also called echocardiograms, provide images of your heart or blood flow in your body. At Apex Cardiology Consultants in Inglewood, California, interventional cardiology specialists Jack Farahi, MD, FACC, and Mason Weiss, MD, FACC, offer the full spectrum of cardiology care. To book your cardiac testing with the Los Angeles area cardiac testing and treatment experts, call the Apex Cardiology Consultants office or schedule an appointment online.

Ultrasounds Q & A

What are heart ultrasounds?

Heart ultrasounds, or echocardiograms, are a type of noninvasive and painless heart imaging that can check your heart function in a safe clinical environment. Apex Cardiology Consultants offers echocardiograms because they can identify heart problems even in their early stages. 

When might I need a heart ultrasound? 

You could need an echocardiogram for several different reasons, including:

Symptom assessment

An echocardiogram can help to determine the source of symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain. 

Heart function evaluation

An echocardiogram can check how your heart valves function and how your heart pumps blood.

Heart structural assessment

An echocardiogram can evaluate your heart size and shape and measure heart walls.

Heart problem diagnosis

Echocardiograms can help to diagnose heart valve regurgitation (leakage), valve narrowing (stenosis), tumors, blood clots, holes between heart chambers, heart lining (pericardium) problems, and issues with the blood vessels that transport blood to and from the heart.

Apex Cardiology Consultants also offers echocardiograms to people who are at risk for cardiovascular disease. Nearly half of American adults have one of the three major cardiovascular disease risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.

Other risk factors include diabetes, extra weight, and a lack of physical activity. Your risk of cardiovascular disease steadily rises with age. 

What are the different types of heart ultrasounds?

Apex Cardiology Consultants offers the following ultrasounds:

Transthoracic ultrasound

A transthoracic echocardiogram, the most common type of heart ultrasound, is a test in which your provider applies a gel to your chest and then moves a handheld transducer over your chest. The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves into your chest and upper abdomen. Those sound waves bounce off your heart to form a picture.

Stress ultrasound

With ultrasound stress testing, you have a transthoracic echocardiogram test while at rest, and then you exercise on a treadmill until you achieve maximum heart exertion. At that time, you have another transthoracic echocardiogram. Comparing the two results can show issues like coronary artery disease or blood flow problems.

Doppler ultrasound

Doppler ultrasound is a type of transthoracic echocardiogram. The test bounces ultrasound waves off the red blood cells in your blood. In this way, a Doppler echo can show blood direction and speed, which an ordinary transthoracic ultrasound doesn't show. 

Transesophageal ultrasound

In a transesophageal ultrasound, a thin probe goes through your mouth and esophagus to reach an area near the heart. Because of this close proximity, a transesophageal echo provides more detailed images of the heart. You typically receive a throat-numbing anesthetic and a sedative to keep you comfortable during a transesophageal echocardiogram. 

What are lower-extremity ultrasounds?

Lower-extremity ultrasounds create images of the major leg veins. This type of ultrasound can show deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which you have a blood clot in a deep leg vein, or venous insufficiency. 

You may need a lower-extremity ultrasound to assess symptoms like varicose veins, shortness of breath, leg swelling, or other issues.

Apex Cardiology Consultants has extensive experience in all types of echocardiography. Call the office or schedule online today.