Once you've seen your doctor and you've gone through tests, making the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is very simple and very easy. An EKG, which takes about two seconds, can help diagnose atrial fibrillation. On occasion, you might not be in atrial fibrillation when you come to your doctor's office, because not everyone is in atrial fibrillation 24 hours a day. In that incidence, your doctor might want to send you home with an event monitor for 24 to 48 hours where your heart rhythm is monitored regularly to see if you go into and out of atrial fibrillation. So once the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation is made, it's important for your doctor to order a transthoracic echocardiogram. Transthoracic echocardiogram or an ultrasound of the heart just takes a picture of the heart just to make sure everything is normal - so you can see the heart function, you can see the valves. But the most important thing about the transthoracic echocardiogram is looking for blood clots, which can potentially cause a stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.
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