An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart and track the pattern of the blood flow through the heart. It can provide a wealth of helpful information, including the size and shape of the heart (internal chamber size quantification), pumping capacity, and the location and extent of any tissue damage.
An abnormal Echocardiogram. Image shows a mid-muscular ventricular septal defect. The trace in the lower left shows the cardiac cycle and the red mark the time in the cardiac cycle that the image was captured. Colors are used to represent the velocity and direction of blood flow.
What to Expect
The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is noninvasive (doesn’t involve breaking the skin or entering body cavities) and has no known risks or side effects.
There is no preparation for this test other than to wear a gown.
This test takes approximately 20-30 minutes to be performed in our office. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled 10-14 working days after the test is completed to allow for the physician to read the report.