Echocardiogram Specialist

Carlos Vaca, MD -  - Internal Medicine Physician

Carlos Vaca, MD

Internal Medicine Physician & Critical Care Medicine Specialist located in Miami, FL

An echocardiogram is often the first diagnostic test performed when you develop symptoms of a heart problem, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and a fast or irregular heartbeat. Carlos Vaca, MD, provides comprehensive care for his patients, performing echocardiograms in the office so you can get a quick diagnosis and start essential treatment. To get help with heart symptoms, call the office in the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach or schedule an appointment online.

Echocardiogram

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is also called a diagnostic cardiac ultrasound because it uses safe, painless sound waves to create an image of your heart. During an echocardiogram, a device — the transducer — sends sound waves into your body. 

The sound waves bounce off structures inside your bodyand echo back to the transducer. Then the transducer sends the information to a computer that translates the waves into images.

When might I need an echocardiogram?

Dr. Vaca performs an echocardiogram to diagnose the cause of your heart symptoms. The detailed images produced during an echocardiogram reveal the:

  • Size and shape of your heart
  • Thickness of your heart muscles
  • Pumping strength of your heart muscles
  • Functioning of heart valves
  • Presence of tumors or blood clots
  • Presence of holes between chambers
  • Health of blood vessels

Echocardiograms produce immediate results, allowing Dr. Vaca to quickly identify heart problems and the type of treatment you need.

Are there different types of echocardiograms?

Yes, there are numerous types of echocardiograms, but some are performed by heart specialists. These are a few of the most common echocardiograms:

Transthoracic echocardiogram

This is the most common type of echocardiogram and typically the first diagnostic echocardiogram performed when you have symptoms of heart disease. Dr. Vaca performs a transthoracic echocardiogram by placing the transducer directly against your chest, allowing the sound waves to reach your heart.

Transesophageal echocardiogram

This is a more invasive procedure in which a small transducer is guided down your throat and into the esophagus, where it’s positioned right next to your heart. A transesophageal echocardiogram produces a better image because the sound waves don’t have to travel through your skin.

Stress echocardiogram

This type of procedure is a transthoracic echocardiogram that’s performed after you exercise on a treadmill or stationary cycle. It shows how well your heart works when it’s forced to deliver more blood to your body.

Three-dimensional echocardiogram

A 3D image of your heart can be produced using the transthoracic or transesophageal techniques. Dr. Vaca takes ultrasound images from different angles, and then the computer uses the information to develop a 3D view.

If you experience symptoms of heart problems, you can get an echocardiogram in the office of Carlos Vaca, MD. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking feature.