An echocardiogram is a diagnostic image of the heart, produced by “echoes” or sound waves that reflect off of heart structures. Much like a sonogram for pregnant mothers, the echo machine sends pulses of high-frequency sound waves into the chest. A transducer (a sound sensitive instrument) electronically records the sound into a structured image. Computer processing of the precise arrival times of the sound signals provides a two-dimensional view of a “slice” through the heart. An echo provides information about heart chamber size, wall motion, valve movements, and structural changes in and around the heart. In the twenty years since it was first introduced, the echocardiogram has evolved into many specialized formats: color Doppler, three-dimensional, tissue imaging and volumetric echocardiograms.

Preparing for your Procedure:

  • Ask your Physician if you should take your usual medications.
  • Wear a two-piece outfit and comfortable shoes, such as tennis shoes. Do not wear open-toed shoes such as sandals, slides, etc.
  • Bring the order for your procedure (paperwork from your Physician) with you to the hospital.
  • Please bring your medications with you.
  • Give your Order for Procedure (in the paper work from your Physician) to the Registration clerk.
  • The Registration clerk will ask you a few questions to update your information in the computer. Be sure to bring your insurance card with you if you have one and an identification card.
  • The Registration clerk will give you directions to the Cardiology Department on the 2nd floor. During the Procedure
  • Staff will be available to explain the procedure or answer any questions you may have.
  • You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and put on a gown.
  • An Echo Technician will take pictures of your heart, by using Ultrasound.
  • Sticky patches (electrodes) will be attached to your chest for an EKG. Post Procedure
  • The Cardiologist will review all the images and a report will be sent to your medical doctor.

If you have any questions about this procedure or need to locate a Cardiologist, you may call our Cardiology department at 252-384-4703.