How do you take care of your heart after 40?
As you find yourself hitting 40, you may start thinking about health issues you previously didn’t concern yourself with. Should heart health be one of them?
An echocardiogram (echo) is a diagnostic test used to obtain pictures of your heart to help determine your heart function and to evaluate your heart valves. Echocardiograms can also alert physicians about any heart conditions you have such as tumors, fatty deposits, enlargement of the heart and congestive heart failure, as well as the status of the sack surrounding your heart (the pericardium). Since some heart conditions have no obvious symptoms, an echocardiogram is an important heart test. An echocardiogram is a noninvasive procedure that is performed in a physician’s office or clinical setting. It is also known as a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE).
Ohio State’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital has a cutting-edge echocardiography team with internationally known researchers in the field. Our 3-D heart imaging technology provides detailed information to your physician about how your heart looks and works, as well as assesses your heart function and detects valve abnormalities or diseases. This imaging technology is used in addition to the basic echo exam, and it also helps to optimize care for patients with specialized cardiac devices.
Check with your physician when scheduling your echocardiogram to ensure you do not need to abstain from food or drink prior to the test. Bring a list of current medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and other supplements including herbals. You should wear comfortable clothing to your appointment and remove any jewelry prior to starting the test.
Timothy Obarski, DO, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, describes an echocardiogram surface test and an echocardiogram stress test, as well as how these tests are performed.