Monday - Thursday: 7:30 am - 5:15 pm
The Watson Clinic Echo Lab was established in 1984. As one of the first Echo Labs to achieve accreditation in Polk County, by the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL). The Echo Lab is under the direction of John Canto, M.D. and Kim Midea, RCS, the Echo Lab Supervisor and it utilizes four echo machines manufactured by Philips and averages over 550 studies per month.
Echocardiography is a non-invasive test that has become one of the standard diagnostic tools in cardiology. The cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons and sonographers work closely together to achieve high quality diagnostic testing.
What is an Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a safe and painless diagnostic procedure, which uses high-frequency sound waves to take moving, real time pictures of the heart. The sound waves are directed to the heart from a small, hand-held device called a transducer that sends and receives these signals.
The heart walls and valves reflect part of the sound waves back to the transducer where they are used to produce pictures of the heart. These images appear in black and white or color on a monitor screen.
The pictures obtained during this procedure are stored digitally. The songraphers and cardiologist are able to obtain measurements of the four chambers of the heart and study the appearance and motion of the heart valves. Also, they are able to evaluate the contractile function of the heart. Measurements taken from these pictures are very helpful to your physician in determining how well your heart or your child’s heart is functioning.
Doppler echocardiography testing may also be done at the same time as the echocardiogram. This allows the sonographer to measure the direction of blood flow through the heart valves and to assess for valvular abnormalities. In newborns this allows the cardiologist to assess for congenital heart defects and valvular abnormalities.
To improve the quality of the picture, a water soluble “gel” is applied to the chest area. It may feel cool and moist and will be wiped off thoroughly at the completion of the exam.
No special preparation is necessary.
Children having an Echocardiogram may want to bring something comforting with them like a teddy bear or small toy. Parents may want to bring a bottle or sippy cup for their child.
An Echocardiogram can last up to 1 hour depending upon how easily the information is obtained.
Echo Interpreting Cardiologists:
John Canto, MD, Medical Director
Jorge Gonzalez, MD
Neal Kavesh, MD
Kimberly Midea, RCS, Echo Supervisor
Amanda Brewer, Echo Technologist
Lillian Martinez-Irizarry, RCS, Echo Technologist
Amanda Owens, RDCS, Echo Technologist
Elyse Kennedy, RCS, Echo Technologist