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  6. Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram Procedure

Scheduling and Directions

DeKalb Medical offers an echocardiogram procedure which is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. The picture is much more detailed than a regular X-ray image and involves no radiation exposure. An echocardiogram procedure allows the doctor to see your heart beating and to see many of the structures of the heart.

One of DeKalb Medical’s newest technologies is our echocardiography computer system that provides faster turnaround time for echocardiograms and, ultimately, patient diagnosis. An echocardiogram procedure is a noninvasive way to evaluate the valves and chambers of the heart. The echocardiogram allows doctors to diagnose, evaluate and monitor:

  • Heart murmurs
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • The pumping function of the heart for people with heart failure
  • Damage to the heart muscle in patients who have had heart attacks
  • Infection in the sac around the heart, known as pericarditis
  • Infection on or around the heart valves infectious endocarditis
  • The source of a blood clot or emboli after a stroke or TIA
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Pulmonary hypertension
Your doctor may request an echocardiogram procedure to see whether your heart muscle is getting enough blood flow and, therefore, enough oxygen when it is working hard (under stress). The purpose is to discover and potentially treat any blockage or disease before serious or life-threatening problems develop.

Your doctor may request an echocardiogram procedure if you:

  • Have new symptoms of angina or chest pain
  • Have angina that is becoming worse
  • Have recently had a heart attack
  • Are at high risk for heart disease (before having surgery or when beginning an exercise program)
  • Have heart valve problems

Preparing for Your Echocardiogram

There are no special preparations for your echocardiogram procedure. Be sure to ask your physician about any medications you are taking.

Scheduling and Directions

Your physician will contact DeKalb Medical to schedule your echocardiogram for you.

If your echocardiogram will be performed at DeKalb Medical at North Decatur, you will go to the hospital’s central registration area.

  • From North Decatur Road, enter the hospital campus via Wash Lively Road.
  • At road end, turn right. (Note: If you are in a wheelchair or need to be dropped off at the entrance, turn left and proceed to the Central Registration patient drop-off which is on the right just past the main hospital entrance. Your driver should then turn around and continue to the Visitor/Patient parking deck.)
  • At stop sign, turn left and park in the Visitor/Patient parking deck.
  • Take any elevator or stairs to the 3rd level.
  • Proceed to the Pedestrian Bridge to the hospital.
  • Take bridge straight ahead to the escalators.
  • Take escalators down one level.
  • Once off escalators, turn right and immediately left and follow the directions to the hospital main lobby.
  • Proceed past the hospital Gift Shop on your right.
  • Once in the main lobby, follow the hallway to Central Registration.
  • At the end of hallway, turn left.
  • Central Registration is on the right.
If your echocardiogram is being performed at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, go to the hospital’s registration area.

  • Park in the hospital parking lot.
  • Proceed to the main entrance of the hospital.
  • Registration is directly on the right – you must register before proceeding to the Imaging Department.
  • When you have completed registration, a staff member will direct you to the Imaging Department.

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