An echocardiogram is a test of your heart using ultrasound waves. This test takes pictures that help find certain types of heart problems. It is a safe and painless test that will give your doctor useful information about your heart.
What Are The Different Types of Echocardiograms?
What Will The Pictures Show?
High frequency sound waves produce images/pictures on a monitor to examine certain parts of your heart. The parts of your heart that can be examined are: the valves, the atria (upper chambers of the heart), the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart) and the heart muscle itself.
The pictures show movement of the heart, the heart’s "pumping power," and the speed and direction of blood flow. This test can also show any blood clots in the heart or fluid around the heart. In addition to seeing these areas of the heart, the echocardiogram can assess a heart murmur by hearing a swishing sound. The pictures of your heart will be recorded, then reviewed by a cardiologist (heart doctor). A report will be sent to your doctor.
How Is It Done?
Before the test begins, you will be asked to remove your clothing above the waist and put on a patient gown. Several electrodes (small sticky patches) will be placed on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. You will then lie on your back or your left side with your left arm up above your head. To show clearer pictures, a clear gel will be placed on your chest. You may be asked to hold your breath in or out and not to speak at certain times. A transducer (about the size of a small microphone) will be moved across your chest to get different views of your heart. This is not painful, but some patients might feel some pressure as the transducer is pressed onto different areas of the chest. The room will be darkened so that the pictures can be seen more clearly.
What Do I Need To Do To Get Ready?
- Bring all of your signed doctors' orders and referrals with you.
- Bring a list of your medicines with you.
How Long Does It Take?
Allow about 30 minutes for the test.
How Will I Get The Results?
Contact the doctor who ordered the test to get your results.
PLEASE NOTE: If the results of your test need to be sent to a doctor who does not practice at Doylestown Hospital, you will need to provide the doctor's full name, address and, if possible, FAX number. You may give us this information on the day of your visit or call 215.345.2231 Monday through Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm.