An echocardiogram is a diagnostic test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The test is performed by a registered sonographer and takes approximately 30 minutes. The sonographer will attach you to an EKG monitor using electrodes. Next, you will lie on your left side while images of your heart are captured for the cardiologist to review and interpret. The echocardiogram will allow the cardiologist to determine the size, pumping function, valve function and blood flow inside of your heart. The cardiologist can use the images to determine a number of additional factors, including any evidence of damage to the heart, any narrowing or leakage of the heart valves and any presence of clots or fluid around the heart.
There is no preparation for the Echocardiogram. You will need to remove everything from the waist up so it is recommended that ladies wear a two piece outfit. Echocardiography is extremely safe and there are no known risks from the clinical use of ultrasound during this type of testing.
The cardiologist will not be present during the time of the examination but will interpret the study after it is complete. A copy of the physician’s report will be sent to your primary care physician. You will also receive a call from a member of our staff with results and further instructions.