1st Choice Urgent Care

Urgent Care located in Bakersfield, CA

If you have a history of heart-related issues and want to make sure your ticker is in good health, an echocardiogram from the doctors at 1st Choice Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California may provide the information you need to stay healthy. With an echocardiogram, your provider can scan and identify abnormalities in your heart, and use that information to develop a treatment plan, if necessary. If you have a family history of heart disease or you’re experiencing any heart issues, call today or schedule an appointment online.

Echocardiogram Q & A

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create a moving image of your heart. The image is transmitted to a nearby monitor, which allows your provider to examine your heart’s movements in real time.

Why do I need an echocardiogram?

Your 1st Choice Urgent Care provider may recommend an echocardiogram if they suspect a problem with your heart. Items your provider may examine include:

  • The size and shape of your heart
  • The health of your heart’s walls
  • Your heart’s pumping strength
  • Whether your heart valves are healthy and working correctly
  • Any unusual growths, tumors, or blood clots

What is the difference between an echocardiogram and an EKG?

An EKG measures the electrical activity of your heart, monitoring things like abnormalities in your heartbeat or heart palpitations.

Your provider will use an echocardiogram when they need to see the physical makeup of your heart. Problems with the size of your heart or blocked valves can’t be observed with an EKG.

In most cases, your provider administers both an EKG and an echocardiogram if they suspect a heart issue.

How is an echocardiogram performed?

An echocardiogram is a simple, in-office procedure. You lie on a table, and your provider attaches several electrodes to your chest that are connected to an EKG.

After applying a gel to your chest, your provider passes a probe across your heart that produces sound waves. These sound waves bounce off of your heart and create an “echo” that is picked up by the probe, creating an image on a nearby monitor. The entire test takes less than an hour.

In rare instances, the probe may need to be closer to your heart for a clear image. In this case, your provider gently inserts a probe into your esophagus to monitor your heart. This test is called a transesophageal echocardiogram.

Is an echocardiogram safe?

An echocardiogram procedure is perfectly safe. The sound waves produced by the probe are harmless. You may experience some slight discomfort when removing the EKG electrodes, similar to removing an adhesive bandage.

If you’ve been experiencing recurring chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, don’t hesitate to call 1st Choice Urgent Care or book your appointment online.