What is it?

Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart muscle. Ultrasound waves that echo off the heart can show the size, shape, and movement of the heart's valves and chambers as well as the flow of blood through the heart. Echocardiography may show such abnormalities as poorly functioning heart valves or damage to the heart tissue from a past heart attack.

What to tell us?

You should arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to complete all necessary paperwork. There are no other special requirements for this examination.

What does the procedure involve?

Echocardiography is performed in a standard ultrasound room. You'll lie barechested on an examination table. A special ultrasound gel is applied to the skin surface and the probe is placed against the skin. Various views are obtained from either side of the sternum, from the left lower chest and from beneath the rib cage near the midline. The procedure is recorded on videotape and on hard copy laser film.

After your procedure you will be able to resume all normal activities.

How long will it take?

The Echocardiography procedure normally takes between 30 to 60 minutes.