Cardiac Ultrasound Imaging

Cardiac Ultrasound Imaging, also known as Echocardiogram (echo), is a test that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to make pictures of your heart; it chambers, valves, walls, and the blood vessels (aorta, arteries, veins) attached to your heart. This common test helps the doctor to see your heart beating and how well it functions in pumping blood, and if there are any problems such as clots, abnormal holes, or other issues.

How Should I Prepare the Day Before the Procedure?

There’s nothing you need to do to prepare for the test. You can eat, drink, take regular medications and follow your normal daily routine.

What Happens on the Day of the Procedure?

The test will be performed by specially trained technicians and will take about an hour. You simply lie on a table, and the technician will place sticky patches (electrodes) on your chest that are connected by wires to an electrocardiograph machine. The electrocardiogram monitors your heartbeat during your test. The technician will put gel on your chest to help the sound waves pass through your skin. Then a device called a transducer is passed back and forth over your chest, producing sound waves that bounce off your heart and “echo” back to the device. The waves appear as pictures on a video monitor. The room may be darkened to help your technician better see the monitor.

When Will I Get My Results?

Your doctor will talk with you after looking at your echo pictures and discuss what the pictures show.

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