How is 2D Echo done?
Patient is made to change in a front open robe and a colourless gel is applied to the chest area. Then he is asked to lay on his left side as the technician moves the transducer across the various parts of his chest to get specific/desired views of the heart.
Instructions may also be given to the patient to breathe slowly or to hold it. This helps in getting superior quality pictures. The images are viewed on the monitor and recorded on paper, video or DVD. The cardiologist later reviews and interprets the recordings.
What it detects?
Echocardiography is a significant tool in providing the physician important information about heart on the following:
- Size of the chambers, volume and the thickness of the walls
- Pumping function, if it is normal or reduced to a mild/severe degree
- Valve function - structure, thickness and movement of heart’s valves
- Volume status as low blood pressure may occur as a result of poor heart function
- Pericardial effusion (fluid in the pericardium - the sac that surrounds the heart), congenital heart disease, blood clots or tumours, abnormal elevation of pressure within the lungs etc.
How long does 2D Echocardiography take?
A brief exam in normal case may be done within 15-20 minutes. However, when there are heart problems, it may take much longer.
How safe is echocardiography?
It is absolutely safe. There are no known risks of the ultrasound in this type of testing.