An echocardiogram is a two-dimensional ultrasound of your heart.
Through a hand-held transducer and gel applied directly on your skin, ultrasound uses non-radiation sound wave technology to create an echo image and analysis of the chambers, valves and surrounding vessels of your heart.
The purpose of an echocardiogram is to review the structure and assess the function of your heart. It will tell your Doctor how well your heart pumps and whether your heart valves are working properly.
Other Cardiac Procedures
No particular preparation is required for an echocardiogram. Ahead of the test you can eat and drink normally as well as take all of your usual medications.
As an echocardiogram will be assessing your heart, it will be best to wear a two-piece outfit to allow for easier access to your chest.
You will be asked to remove your top and bra (if you’re wearing one). You will be offered a gown to wear with the opening to the front. During the echocardiogram you will be asked to lie on your left side and back. Stickers will be attached to your chest to monitor your heart rate as the Sonographer obtains images of your heart from various angles. During the procedure you will hear sounds coming from the machine that represent blood flow through the heart.
Echocardiograms usually take about 30 minutes but can take up to 45 minutes
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure so you can return immediately to your usual everyday activities.
Your echocardiogram scans will be reviewed by a Specialist Cardiologist and the report will be sent to your referring doctor. It is best to make an appointment with them to follow up on the results.