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Can heart valve problems be diagnosed through an echocardiogram?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Yes, most valve problems can be diagnosed with a standard echocardiogram called a transthoracic echocardiogram. If the valves are not clearly seen using a standard echocardiogram, then contrast medication can be used to help see the images better or a "transesophageal" echocardiogram can be done. The transesophageal requires the patient to "swallow" a probe and images can be taken via the back of the heart because the probe is in the esophagus. A heart catheterization can also be done to assess the degree of heart valve trouble before heart valve surgery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.