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Additional Echocardiography Procedures

  1. Transesophageal echocardiography – In this minimally invasive study, you are given a throat anesthetic and intravenous medication for sedation. While you are asleep, a small flexible camera is placed in your swallowing tube (esophagus) to obtain images of your heart structures. Do not drink or eat 6 hours before the procedure (may take medications with a sip of water) and arrange for someone to pick you up after the exam. Although the exam takes 30 minutes, plan to be in the hospital for 4 hours total.
  2. Three dimensional transesophageal and transthoracic echocardiography – We combine the latest state-of-the-art imaging software and to generate 3 dimensional images of the heart and structures. Three dimensional imaging is especially helpful in the assessment of heart valve problems and structural heart problems (“holes in the heart”).
  3. Treadmill and/or supine bicycle stress echocardiography – Heart ultrasound images are obtained before/during and after exercise on a treadmill or recumbent bicycle. This test is typically used to evaluate for blockages of heart blood vessels or assess how the heart and valves respond to exertion/stress.
  4. Pharmacologic (dobutamine) stress echocardiography – While dobutamine (a medication to make the heart beat stronger and faster) is administered through an intravenous line (IV), ultrasound images are obtained of the heart. This test is typically used to evaluate for blockages of heart blood vessels in patient who have difficulty walking on the treadmill.
  5. Contrast echocardiography – While heart ultrasound images are acquired, a small amount of agitated sterile saline or microbubble echocontrast is administered via an intravenous line (IV). Contrast echocardiography is used to assess pressures inside the heart, exclude holes in the heart, or to better visualize the heart cavities.
  6. Intracardiac, intraoperative echocardiography – While under general anesthesia and while you are asleep during heart surgery, a flexible echocardiogram probe is placed in the esophagus or swallowing tube. Heart and valve function can then be assessed in real time and guide your heart surgeon and cardiac anesthesiologist during your procedure.