There is no preparation for an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram utilizes harmless sound waves that come from a transducer placed on the chest. These sound waves bounce off cardiac structures of the heart and then return to the equipment where the sound beams are converted to images on a screen and can be recorded on paper and on video. An echocardiogram will give the physician information regarding movement of valves and heart walls (muscle) and heart chamber size. A Doppler echocardiogram allows sound waves to bounce off the heart chamber and blood vessels to obtain blood flow patterns in order to detect abnormalities in blood flow.
The patient is requested to remove the clothing on the upper portion of the body and wear a gown. Electrodes are placed on the chest and an EKG will be taken continuously. A transducer will be placed on and moved to various places on the chest. A physician will read the echocardiogram. One hour should be allowed for this test. A physician will read the test.
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