A cardiac ultrasound, also known as an echocardiogram, is a diagnostic procedure that creates pictures of your child’s heart. At Children’s Cardiology Group in Orange and Mission Viejo, California, the team of expert pediatric cardiologists uses cardiac ultrasounds to diagnose the cause of cardiovascular health symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath. Call Children’s Cardiology Group or schedule a consultation online today for specialized pediatric cardiology care.
Known clinically as an echocardiogram, a cardiac ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure that uses sound waves to create images of the heart’s chambers, valves, and coronary blood vessels.
Cardiac ultrasounds are safe, painless, outpatient procedures. The diagnostic study provides valuable information about the structure and function of your child’s heart that helps your cardiologist diagnose their condition and provide appropriate treatment.
The team of board-certified pediatric cardiologists at Children’s Cardiology Group orders cardiac ultrasounds for a variety of purposes. The test provides information about:
Echocardiograms can also show your cardiologist if there are problems with the pericardium — the outer lining of the heart — or any of the blood vessels that lead into or out of your heart. They can locate holes between any of the heart chambers and blood clots.
Every year approximately 35,000 babies are born with congenital heart defects. Some of the earliest signs of a heart problem in an infant are pale blue or gray skin, trouble breathing while feeding, slow weight gain, or rapid, shallow breathing.
Older children might be easily fatigued or short-of-breath during physical activity, or might even faint. They might also develop swelling in their feet, ankles, or hands.
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for a cardiac ultrasound. Your child can eat and drink regularly, and you don’t need to disrupt their routine.
During the test, your child wears a hospital gown, and a technician attaches electrodes to their chest to monitor their heartbeat. Then, the technician applies a gel to their chest, which helps the ultrasound transducer glide over their skin smoothly.
The transducer sends the sound waves into your child’s chest, where they bounce back off of their heart and other internal structures. The transducer collects those echos and transmits them to a computer that converts them into images and videos.
Your cardiologist examines the images. If necessary, they order additional testing or complete their diagnosis and create a customized treatment plan.
Call Children’s Cardiology Group or make an appointment online today for cardiac ultrasounds and other state-of-the-art pediatric cardiology services.