At one point in our lives, we’ll have to subject ourselves to medical diagnostic procedures for the first time. A diagnostic test determines a disease or condition and explains the signs and symptoms a person has. Undergoing these processes for the first time often causes anxiety, even if the procedure is as benign as getting an echocardiogram. But who wouldn’t? Whether it’s just ECG taking or something more invasive, having no prior knowledge about what we’re about to go through can send us jittery in a corner. To allay your fears, we’ll help you prepare for an echocardiogram procedure through this article. We’ll shed light on an echocardiogram, how safe the procedure is, and what women frequently ask; can you wear a bra during an echocardiogram.
What is an Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive test that uses ultrasound waves to assess the heart. The ECG machine has a transducer that records the sound wave echoes from your heart, which is then converted by a computer into elaborate moving images in a monitor. It is a safe and painless method that aids doctors in diagnosing many heart conditions. There are no known side effects nor risks associated with the use of ultrasound waves for this procedure. However, patients may feel slight discomfort when the machine’s transducer is pressed strongly against the person’s chest.
What Does ECG Reflect?
Through the ECG, a doctor can see how the heart functions when the client is at rest and while performing activities. The following are deductions that can be made based on ECG results.
- Size and shape of the cardiac muscles. The ECG can approximate cardiac measurements such its size and shape, including its thickness.
- The ability of the heart to pump. From images, doctors can tell if the heart is sufficiently pumping out blood, and whether it is pumping at maximum capacity or has weakened. It will also reflect other parts of the heart and how they function.
- The function of heart valves. The heart has valves that open and close to facilitate blood circulation. ECG can reveal the condition of the valves if it is narrowing or leaking.
- Other functions. ECG also tests for fluid, clots, masses around, or in the heart and holes in its chambers.
How to Prepare Yourself Before an ECG
One way to prevent getting anxious before a diagnostic procedure is to prepare yourself. The preparation involves physical readiness and emotional, as well. For most diagnostic procedures, what a lot of women worry about is their physical privacy. So they ask, can you wear a bra during an echocardiogram? We’ll find out. Meanwhile, here are the things you should do before an ECG-taking.
- Abstain from food and drinks 3 hours before ECG-taking. If you’re taking a stress test electrocardiogram procedure, your doctor may ask you to perform a vigorous exercise to know how your heart functions when under rigorous activities. Having a full stomach can lead to nausea and vomiting. Hence, patients are advised not to eat prior to the test. If you have diabetes and follow a strict meal or medication time, you need to inform your doctor for special instructions.
- Inform your doctor about any medications you are currently taking. Some medicines may alter heart functions, and the test may not reveal your heart’s true condition. Hence, some doctors may ask you to stop your cardiac drug intake for an accurate test result.
- Wear comfortable, exercise-appropriate clothing. Men may be asked to perform the test without a shirt. As for women, can you wear a bra during an echocardiogram? Yes. Generally, women are allowed to wear a bra under a lightweight shirt or a hospital gown. Both genders should also wear comfy footwear, such as shoes or snickers.
- Ask any questions. Anxiety is brought by not knowing. Hence, feel free to ask your doctor about anything that you’d like to know or bothers you. However, before the procedure, your doctor will explain the test to you, and you will have to sign a consent form.
- Expect your chest and shoulders to be cleansed. The ECG technician will have to clean your chest and shoulder with alcohol and an abrasive gel and attach the electrodes on your skin. Men with hairy chest may need shaving so that the wires don’t come off.
What to Expect During the Test?
An ECG is typically performed in a doctor’s clinic or at a hospital. On the day of your test, you should’ve already completed the preparation instructions given prior.
The lab technician will ask you to take off clothing from above the waist and wear a hospital gown instead, to keep you warm. Can you wear a bra during an echocardiogram? If the technician deems that a bra does not restrict the procedure, you may retain them. But if the bra covers the areas where the probe goes, you will have to loosen or remove them.
After this, you will need to lie on an examination table.
Some patches called electrodes and wires will be affixed on your chest and shoulders to record and show your heart’s electrical activity.
You will also be asked to lie on your back, on your left side, and change position to get a clear view of the heart. A transparent gel will be applied to your skin to ease the transducer’s movement and provide a better picture of your heart.
The procedure may last 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the need for a more thorough procedure. Here’s how to learn more about intimate wear tips.
Mindfulness Must Take Place
An echocardiogram is a harmless procedure that requires less preparation. Nonetheless, it pays for first-timers to get to familiarize the process before the test to avoid feeling anxious. This goes especially true for women who may have reservations regarding the test as they fear it will give away their privacy. Addressing a woman’s concern, such as can you wear a bra during an echocardiogram, may help alleviate their worries about the procedure and prevent them from feeling off guard during the process.