An echocardiogram (echo) is an ultrasound test that checks the structure and function of your heart. A transthoracic echo exam can diagnose a range of conditions including cardiomyopathy and valve disease. The expert staff at Eshed performs both adult and pediatric transthoracic echocardiograms. We also perform echo exams utilizing cutting edge strain imaging technology. This newer technique can show less obvious issues with how your heart muscle moves, and can provide earlier and more accurate diagnoses for certain heart conditions.
How to Prepare
There is no special preparation for a transthoracic echocardiogram.
Bring with you to your appointment your:
During and After the Echocardiogram
During the test you will be asked to lie flat on your back as wires are placed on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The sonographer will instruct you to turn on your left side and the probe will be placed on your chest. A lubricant (gel) is used to improve picture quality and this may feel cold. Gentle pressure is applied onto your chest as necessary in order to obtain the information but generally should not be painful. Let the sonographer know if he or she is pressing too hard. You will see images of your heart on the monitor, some of which will have color. The color and the sounds that you may hear coming from the machine are representations of blood flow within your heart.
The Results of Your Echocardiogram
Once the test is completed, the cardiologist will review the images and write a report and send it to your doctor within 72 hours.
The sonographer cannot give you the results during your visit.
How Long Will Your Appointment Be?
A transthoracic echocardiogram usually takes approximately 15 -20 minutes
We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.