This is a test in which ultrasound is used to examine the heart. This procedure provides sophisticated and advanced imaging including the chambers, valves and the major blood vessels that exit from the left and right ventricle.
- No special preparation is necessary. The patient lies on the hospital bed for the procedure.
- Sticky patches or electrodes are attached to the chest and shoulders and connected to electrodes or wires. These help to record the electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) during the test. The EKG helps in the timing of various cardiac events.
- A colorless gel is then applied to the chest and the echo transducer is placed on top of it. The echo technologist then makes recordings from different parts of the chest to obtain several views of the heart. You may be asked to move from your back and to the side. Instructions may also be given for you to breathe slowly or to hold your breath. This helps in obtaining higher quality pictures.
- The images are constantly viewed on the monitor. It is also recorded on photographic paper and on videotape. The tape offers a permanent record of the examination and is reviewed by the physician prior to completion of the final report.
For preparation for this test contact the Heart Center at Fairview Park Hospital.