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What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram or echo is a non-invasive ultrasound test of the heart.

How is an echocardiogram performed?

The technician or cardiologist will ask you to lie on the bed and turn onto your left side. Ultrasound gel will be placed on your chest and the ultrasound probe will be placed onto your chest directly to obtain accurate pictures of your heart. Electrocardiogram dots will be placed on your chest to record your heartbeat.

Why is an echocardiogram performed?

To provide important information about the structure and function of the heart. It is one of the most routine heart tests performed.

Do I need to prepare for an echocardiogram?

No special preparations are needed.

Are there any risks with an echocardiogram?

There may be minor discomfort with the probe being placed on the chest wall. There is otherwise no known risk or harm with an echocardiogram. Ultrasound is regularly used to examine pregnant women.