- All Services
- Behavioral Health Services
- Bone & Joint Care
- Cancer Care
- Diabetes & Endocrinology
- Emergency Care
- Health & Wellness
- Heart Care
- Cardiac Rehabilitation & Wellness Programs
- Cardiac Surgery Program
- Heart Attack Warning Signs
- Heart Care Facilities & Technology
- Heart Care Testing
- Heart Patient Care
- Heart Patient Surgery Information
- Cardiac Catheterization and Coronary Angiography
- Cardiolyte Stress Test
- Carotid Ultrasound Exam
- E.P. Study (Intracardiac Electrophysiologic Procedure)
- Electophysiology Pre-Procedure Instruction Sheet
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Evoked Potential Testing
- Holter Monitor Test
- Pulmonary Function Testing
- Saphenous Vein Mapping
- Segmental Blood Pressures
- Stress Echo Test
- Stress Exercise Test
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
- Venous Imaging of the Extremity
- Venous Reflux Examination of the Legs
- Interventional Cardiology
- Women & Heart Disease
- Hospitalist Care
- Integrative Care
- Intensive Care Unit
- Maternity & Pregnancy Care
- Occupational Health
- Other Services
- Primary Care
- Respiratory Care
- Surgical Services
- Vascular Services
- Weight Loss Surgery
- Women's Services
- Wound Care Center & Hyperbaric Medicine
What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to examine your heart. It gives information about the heart's structures and blood flow without anything entering your body. It is a safe and painless procedure that helps your doctor diagnose a variety of heart problems.
What can I expect before the test?
There is no special preparation for an echocardiogram.
You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and will be given a gown to put on.
What can I expect during the test?
A qualified cardiac sonographer will perform the procedure.
The sonographer will place some electrodes on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm during the test.
You will be asked to lie down on the table on your left side if at all possible.
During the test, a small microphone-like device called a transducer will be held against your chest. This will be covered with a colorless gel, which facilitates the imaging of your heart.
The sonographer will move the transducer around over your chest to obtain different views of your heart.
You may hear some sounds such as a beating, swishing noise during part of the test. This is a computer-simulated sound and not the actual sound of your heart.
All of the images obtained during the procedure will be recorded onto videotape for review by the cardiologist after the exam.
How long does it take?
It will take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the number of views obtained.
Be sure to allow an extra 10-15 minutes to register before the exam.
What can I expect after the test?
The sonographer will wipe off the gel from your chest and allow you to get dressed and leave.
The echocardiogram will be reviewed that evening by a cardiologist and a report will be forwarded to your physician, who will then discuss the results with you.