Echocardiography is the most commonly used non-
An echocardiogram (often called "echo") is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. During this test, high-
Echocardiography uses high-
Assess the overall function of your heart.
Determine the presence of many types of heart disease.
Follow the progress of heart valve disease over time.
Evaluate the effectiveness of medical or surgical treatments.
Prior to the test, there is no need to restrict food or fluids. The procedure itself is pain-
During the test, you will be given a hospital gown to wear. You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up. A cardiac technologist will place three electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on your chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (ECG) that charts your heart's electrical activity.
The technologist will ask you to lie on your left side on an exam table. He or she will place a wand (called a sound-
Sounds are part of the Doppler signal. You may or may not hear the sounds during the test. You may be asked to change positions several times during the exam in order for the technologist to take pictures of different areas of your heart. You may also be asked to hold your breath at times during the exam.You should feel no major discomfort during the test, although you may feel coolness from the gel on the transducer and a slight pressure of the transducer on your chest. The test will take about 15 to 45 minutes. After the test, you can get dressed and go about your daily activities. Your doctor will discuss the test results with you.