HealthBreak | Echocardiography

January 3, 2017
Echocardiography is a test that takes moving pictures of the heart, using sound waves. "We can tell a lot of things from the thickness of your heart walls, and how they are moving," expains Jocelyn Spoon, MD - medical director of echocardiography at the International Heart Institute of Montana in Missoula. "If certain walls of your heart are not moving, or bright, it often is a sign of a prior heart attack." Dr. Spoon continues; "We can also evaluate your heart valves, and see if they are stenotic - tight and not opening correctly - or are leaky, or regurgitant." This evaluation is an important tool to evaluate if a patient is a candidate for heart surgery, or a structural procedure like a mitral valve clip. "It also gives us information about how well your heart is pumping, overall" says Dr. Spoon. The International Heart Institute of Montana has six state-of-the-art echocardiograph machines. "These allow us to obtain better images of your heart, perform transesophageal echocardiographs with enhanced 3-D capabilities, and color flow, which helps us figure out the etology of leaky valves. To learn more, visit http://montana.providence.org/hospitals/st-patrick/services/cardiology
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