An echocardiogram (or echo) is an ultrasound test using high-pitched sound waves to create an image of your heart.
At Great Lakes Cardiovascular, we conduct a complete evaluation of the heart using 2-D imaging along with Doppler and color-flow Doppler ultrasound. With this type of test, we can see how your heart is beating and pumping blood to evaluate:
- Abnormal heart sounds (murmurs or clicks)
- Enlarged heart
- Unexplained chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, or irregular heartbeats
- Thickness and movement of the heart wall
- Heart valves and artificial heart valves
- Size and shape of the heart's chambers
- Cardiac performance
- Diseases such as cardiomyopathy
- Blood clots and tumors
Prior to your echocardiogram, you will be instructed on when you should refrain from eating prior to the test. There are few, if any, special preparations required. Undergoing an echocardiogram is quick—usually within one hour—with very little to no discomfort. While you’re laying on your side, we will place small electrodes on your chest, and touch your skin using a wand with gel on the end. You may have to change positions a few time. Once the test is complete, you will be free to leave.