Echocardiogram Specialist

A. Bahjat Shahbandar, M.D., FACC -  - Cardiovascular Physician

Shahbandar Heart Clinic

A. Bahjat Shahbandar, M.D., FACC

Cardiovascular Specialist located in Rochester Hills & Romeo, MI

An echocardiogram can help diagnose heart problems before they cause serious complications. Ahmad Shahbandar, MD, founded Shahbandar Heart Clinic to provide the most advanced cardiac care for the Rochester Hills community in Michigan. If you’re having heart-related issues, call Shahbandar Heart Clinic or schedule an appointment online today.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is a type of digital imaging that uses soundwaves to create pictures of your heart. This test enables Dr. Shahbandar to detect heart disease by evaluating its ability to beat and pump blood.

There are several types of echocardiograms, including:

  • Transthoracic — a transducer is pressed against your chest to create images
  • Transesophageal — a transducer is guided down your esophagus to capture images
  • Doppler — tracks blood flow speed and direction through your heart
  • Stress — evaluates heart activity associated with physical exertion

Dr. Shahbandar also does nuclear stress tests to assess your heart health. During this type of stress test, radioactive dye is injected into your bloodstream to identify blocked or partially blocked arteries in your heart.

Why do I need an echocardiogram?

Dr. Shahbandar might recommend an echocardiogram to evaluate the health of your heart’s valves and chambers in addition to your heartbeat. An echocardiogram can reveal several heart issues, including:

  • Size
  • Defects
  • Damage
  • Blood clots
  • Aorta issues
  • Pump strength
  • Valve problems
  • Fluid around the heart

What can I expect during an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram usually requires no advanced preparation and no downtime.

After you undress from the waist up, you lay down on an examination table, and sticky electrodes are attached to your body to conduct and detect your heart’s electrical currents. Dr. Shahbandar sends the images to a monitor for review.

When your echocardiogram is underway, the lights are often dimmed to provide a clearer display on the monitor. For transthoracic echocardiograms, Dr. Shahbandar or his technician applies gel to your chest improve the conduction of soundwaves. You may be asked to move or breath in certain ways to help Dr. Shahbandar capture the visuals needed of your heart.

For echocardiograms performed by way of your esophagus, a numbing agent is administered by gel or spray to your throat. Dr. Shahbandar might also provide a sedative to keep you relaxed during the procedure.

The duration of your echocardiogram depends on your condition but usually takes less than an hour. Based on your results, Dr. Shahbandar either provides an assessment of your condition or recommends additional diagnostic testing like CT scans or coronary angiograms to look for additional issues.

To schedule an echocardiogram, call Shahbandar Heart Clinic or book an appointment online today.