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Using ultrasound (very high-frequency sound waves), cardiologists can produce images of the heart and see how it is functioning.

During an ultrasound exam, a small, hand-held device called a transducer is placed on the skin. The transducer produces very high-frequency sound waves reflected off of internal organs and tissue. The same transducer receives the reflected sound waves and sends them to a computer, which uses them to generate accurate images on a computer screen of the internal structures.

When used to examine the heart, ultrasound can create images that help the cardiologist learn about the size, shape and function of the heart muscle, how heart valves are functioning and how well blood is flowing through the heart.

Images Produced are Called Echocardiograms

One advantage of echocardiograms is that they are "live action" moving images on a computer screen, so they are useful for evaluating heart function as well as shape.

There are different types of echocardiograms:

  • Transthoracic Echocardiogram: This exam provides views of the heart structure obtained by placing the transducer on the patient's chest.
  • Doppler Echocardiogram: Used to evaluate blood flow through heart chambers, valves and blood vessels.
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram: During this procedure, a small probe containing a transducer is passed down the esophagus to provide closer pictures of the heart. The advantage of this positioning is that the sound waves are not interfered with by the lungs or chest bones, producing a clearer image of the heart.

For more information about heart treatment options or to schedule an appointment, please call the Phoebe Heart and Vascular Center at (229) 312-4438.

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© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.