What is an Echocardiogram?

An Echocardiogram is also known as ultrasound or sonogram of your heart.

Before the test you will be asked to remove clothing above the waist, and put on a paper gown or other covering to keep you comfortable. You will be asked to lie on an examination table on your back or left side.

During an echocardiogram, a small device called a transducer is held against the chest. The transducer sends ultrasound waves that reflect (echo) off the various parts of the heart. Gel is applied to the area of the chest where the transducer will be placed. The gel improves the quality of the pictures.

The echoes are converted into moving images of the heart. These images are displayed on a television screen and can be recorded onto disk.

An echocardiogram gives us a lot of information about your heart.

  •   The size and function of your heart muscle
  •   Whether your heart valves are open and closing correctly

This test is used to detect and evaluate many heart problems, such as heart failure and valvular heart disease. An echocardiogram can suggest other disorders that affect heart function.