An echocardiogram is a non-invasive imagining test. It helps your doctor
evaluate your heart. This test is both safe and harmless. Pictures are
obtained by bounding sound waves (ultrasound) off the heart. A transducer
(device that looks like a microphone) is used.
Before the Procedure
Please allow extra time for checking in. Wear a two-piece outfit for the
test. You will be asked to remove clothing from the waist up. You will
be given a hospital gown to cover your chest.
During the Test
Most echocardiograms take 45 minutes. Electrodes will be placed on your
chest to monitor your heartbeat. The technician will use a wet gel applied
to the transducer, which will be moved firmly over your chest. Because
air in the lungs can affect the images, you might be asked to alter your
breathing pattern. The echocardiogram will also include a Doppler study
test, which will evaluate the blood flow through the heart. During this
part of the test you will hear a "whooshing" sound, representing
your blood flow. The pictures are stored electronically for later viewing.
Your doctor will discuss your test results with you during a future office visit.
|To improve health care quality, the American College of Cardiology (ACC)
strongly supports laboratory accreditation for its independent evaluation
and validation of performance of providers and facilities. Patients can
rely on accreditation as an indication that the facility where their examination
will be performed has proven a commitment to providing quality testing
for the diagnosis of heart disorders and disease. Patients can rest assured
that accredited facilities have been carefully critiqued on all aspects
of operations relevant in the field of echocardiography.