Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Testing | Invasive Cardiac Procedures
As previously discussed, a standard non invasive imaging assessment of the heart is through cardiac ultrasound, or Echocardiography. “Echos” done in the in office are Trans-Thoracic studies acquired by hodling an ultrasound probe along the outside of the chest wall. While this can be a very useful modality, there are a few cardiac conditions for which we need more detailed imaging.
Enhanced cardiac ultrasound images can be acquired by placing an ultrasound probe from the mouth/ throat into the esophagus (food pipe). The esophagus passes in the chest immediately adjacent to the heart, and these Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram (“TEE”) images are highly detailed and specifically can see many parts of the heart that are not possible on a standard transthoracic study in the office. A TEE is done as an outpatient procedure in the hospital where with the help of anesthesia, sedation is administered while the probe is passed. Most TEE procedures take just 10-15 minutes to complete and the patient is sent home soon after its completed.
A TEE may be recommended to further assess people with certain valvular heart diseases, congenital heart abnormliates, as well as patients with atrial fibrillation being evaluated for elelctrical cardioversion.
TEE is advanced technology requiring a high level of skill and expertise. TEE is part of SPCVA’s top cardiac treatment and care, and our doctors have the experience and knowledge to successfully provide this testing.
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