What is an echocardiogram?
This safe, painless imaging test uses sound waves to show how well your heart muscle and valves are working. A transducer, a device that looks like a small microphone, is used to bounce sound waves off your heart and a computer changes the sound waves into images that are seen on a monitor. These images help the doctor evaluate your heart.
In preparation for your echocardiogram, be sure to wear a two-piece outfit. You will need to undress from your waist up and put on a hospital gown. No other special preparations are necessary.
What should I expect?
The examination is performed by a trained sonographer. The test may take approximately an hour, depending upon how easily the necessary information is obtained. Small electrodes are placed on your chest to monitor your heartbeat. A water-soluble gel is applied to your skin where the transducer will be placed. This may feel cool and moist. You may also feel a slight pressure on your chest from the transducer, which is necessary to get the best pictures of your heart. During the exam, you will be asked to remain silent and to lay in different positions on the bed. The room lights will also be dimmed or off throughout the exam.
When will I receive the results?
Following your exam, the sonographer will obtain precise measurements for your cardiologist, who will analyze the results and final diagnosis. Your doctor will review the results of your echocardiogram with you.
If you have any questions, please ask the sonographer. For additional information, please call (480) 728-7208.
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