An echocardiogram (or echo-doppler) is a cardiac ultrasound. Your doctor has ordered this test to measure the size and function of cardiac structures such as the heart valves and pumping chambers. The procedure will take approximately 30-45 minutes. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to the echo lab and asked to remove all clothing above the waist, and to put on a gown with the opening in the front. The cardiac sonographer will then assist you into a comfortable position lying on your left side, and attach a three lead EKG to keep track of your heart rhythm.

The echocardiogram is then conducted with the lights dimmed, and you will occasionally hear whooshing sounds as the sonographer measures the flows in your heart. The images are obtained by sliding a small gel covered probe over the front of your chest. Occasionally it may be necessary to insert an IV to inject a contrast which enhances your images. The sonographer will inform you if this is the case.

Procedure Preparation

You may eat, drink and take your medications as usual for this test.
Do not wear oils or body lotion. You may wear deodorant.