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Ultrasound for your heart?
Old 03-16-2010, 11:53 AM   #1
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Ultrasound for your heart?

Other than an EKG for your heart, is it necessary to also undergo an ultrasound exam just in case? I'd like not to do anything unnecessary, frankly.

No, no physician has suggested this for me, but I do have a mild mitral valve problem (heart murmur), don't want to have a stroke like my mother has before (okay, she was 86 to be fair) and just thought I had better ask. That seems to be my only "health issue" (if you want to consider it one).

Mom also had a heart murmur, so is this inherited? Poor thing..she's only made it to 91 so far with the heart murmur, too, been ridiculously healthy all her life and still here...but still thought I'd ask.

By the way, the WSJ had an article (3/15/10 "Abbott Heart Device Gains" in Corporate News p. B3) very recently on some new device for those with mitral valve problems that just came out. Science to the rescue for those with real problems with their mitral valves! Should we all say, "God bless all those science geeks in high school?" Yup...looks like we should.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:40 PM   #2
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Ultrasound for the heart is usually done in concert with a stress test (stress echo). US has gotten more and more informative - 3-D rendering and color coded movement via Doppler, i.e. the clinician can watch the blood move through the chambers as well as the valves, do volumetric calculations and EKG/pulse determinations. They can see the valves open and close and determine if they are leaky. US is also less invasive than any of the other imaging modalities. Additionally, US so far hasn't got any issues like the radiative imaging modalities (lifetime accumulation max limits of radiation). Other type of US is trans-esophageal echo (TEE) - an US probe is inserted through your esophagus with the resulting US transmitting/receiving end of the probe showing US of the 'back-side' of the heart. This is usually done during heart surgery and by anesthesiologists (and under anesthesiology) to verify the heart function or functionality/physiology that the heart surgeon was supposed to fix.

If your MD hasn't prescribed it, I wouldn't worry about it unless you really feel like you need it. TEE would not be prescribed unless you were in surgery.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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Is this the new device you are thinking of? My gal sent me this link:
AP News: Study: Mini clip is safer than heart-valve surgery

Think mitral valve prolapse is present in something like 10% of the population. Till now, options include watch and see, repair, and replacement with either plastic or pig valve. Replacement with plastic means drugs for the rest of your life, pig means another operation in ~10 years. If you can wait and see technology may just come up with something newer and better. Maybe like this clip. I'm holding out for the nanobot repaircritters in pill form.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:52 PM   #4
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Deserat said it pretty well. I'll mention that I've only had it done in conjunction with a stress test once. But I'm special.
The test gives the doc a lot of info. I have had ultrasounds done on my heart for many years with no ill effects, including the TEE. If the doc says do it, I'd follow through on their advice. They are paid to be the experts!
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deserat View Post
Other type of US is trans-esophageal echo (TEE) - an US probe is inserted through your esophagus with the resulting US transmitting/receiving end of the probe showing US of the 'back-side' of the heart.
Not a very pleasant experience for sure... even though it is done under general anesthetics. Didn't like that at all.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:16 PM   #6
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Not a very pleasant experience for sure... even though it is done under general anesthetics. Didn't like that at all.
Really? They had me under. I have no recollection beyond: KEIM we are going to give you something to hel...
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:21 PM   #7
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somewhere in between here - a calming iv, an anesthetic syrup poured in the back of my throat, a bit of Versed.... remember a little and a small struggle/gag i was trying to supress, but not much more. Thank heavens.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
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I remember the syrup. Tasted horrible!
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #9
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Oh! I was awake through the whole thing. After it was over and they were wheeling me out of the room to Recovery, the nurse asked if I remembered what happened. I said, "Yes." She asked me to describe it and I started and then said, "No, I can't." It was like when you awaken from a dream and remember it vividly and then seconds later can't recall a thing. All I remember is I didn't want to do it again... ever.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:58 PM   #10
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Sounds like one of the drugs didn't do its job, RonBoyd. Glad that wasn't my experience.
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