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Kathy D

First Echocardiogram tomorrow, what should I expect?

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Hi KD,


Have you ever had an ultrasound? That's what an echocardiogram is. It's non-invasive and completely painless. The worst thing about it is the gel (cold and sticky) they put on your skin so improve the contact between the transducer and the skin on your chest. They move the transducer over your chest and the returning echoes paint a picture of your heart. They can see the interior and check out the valves, etc. and also do things like estimating pulmonary artery pressure. It's pretty neat to watch and listen to - I thought it sounded like jazz. :lol:


Don't be alarmed if the technician brings a doctor into to watch (they've got to learn somehow) and don't expect to hear the results on the spot, either. ;)


Hope it all goes smoothly and your results are great.

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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Jeannie explained it well. The only thing I could add is: the technician that did mine was male... that was a little strange.

How you get good results!



Diagnosed with Diffuse Systemic Scleroderma May 2005

Raynaud's, GI, esophagus, skin and lung involvement.

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An ECHO is a piece of cake. I actually find them quite fascinating but then I'm a techno nerd. If you want to see your heart pumping and the valves opening and closing, ask the technician to position the monitor so you can see it. It's really cool. I have a pacemaker and I can see the wire that goes through the right atrium, through the valve into the right ventricle. But again - as my husband says - I'm am a freak when it comes to technology. :lol:


If you think watching will freak you out, then don't watch the screen. It's a very painless and non-invasive procedure as Jeannie explained so everything is going to be just fine.


Please let us know how it goes.


Big Hugs,

Janey Willis

ISN Support Specialist

(Retired) ISN Assistant Webmaster

(Retired) ISN News Director

(Retired) ISN Technical Writer for Training Manuals

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi KD ,


Like the others said, it's no big deal. Gareth had one today, or at least they tried to do one. Janey, I though his heart looked like 'Jabba the Hud'. I don't remember the name for sure, but it was that monster blob of a bad guy in one of the Star War movies!


Anyway, they wanted to do a stress test on Gareth today but they couldn't get a good resting picture of his lower heart area. Now we have to set up a nuclear cardio stress test. He has had echoes in the past and no one had problems before; not quite sure what to make of it.


Take care, Everyone.


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