An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to take pictures of the heart. A trained sonographer performs this painless outpatient test, which allows doctors and patients to visualize the heart’s movements in two-dimensional and three-dimensional views on a video screen.
Why Do I Need An Echocardiogram?
Your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram if you have had the following:
- Heart murmur
- Heart attack
- Heart valve problem
- Unexplained chest pain
- Rheumatic fever
- Congenital heart defect
- Congenstive heart failure
What to Expect At Your Appointment
• A trained sonographer will perform the test.
• You’ll be asked to lie on a bed on your left side or back.
• A special gel will be used.
• Painless, high-frequency sound waves will pick up images of your heart and valves.
• The test takes about 30 minutes.
• In certain cases, your physician may order a specialized test called transesophageal echocardiography to produce more detailed images than the traditional echo test.
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