Echocardiography, or “Echo”, is a special ultrasound of the heart using 2D and Doppler ultrasound. Echocardiography is a great tool for diagnosing and following up on patients with heart disease. It provides information like the size and shape of the heart, its pumping capacity, the blood flowing through the chambers of the heart, as well as the location and extent of damage. This exam is not an invasive procedure.
What to Expect:
- Upon being checked in, a technologist will give you a gown and we will weigh you.
- You will be taken into the examination room, and will have 3 leads placed on your chest. This will be done as discretely as possible for your comfort.
- You will be instructed to lie down on your left side and the technologist will begin scanning with a camera.
- At some point, the technologist will have to apply some pressure to the left side of your chest, or under your breast. Some people find this part of the exam to be a little uncomfortable.
- You can expect to hear lots of noises from the machine during this exam.
- An Echocardiogram can take 20 to 40 minutes.
No special preparation is needed for this exam.
Please remember to bring your Alberta Health Care card, Photo ID, and most importantly, the requisition from your family doctor or practitioner to your appointment. Requisitions are crucial as they help us take the best possible images for diagnosis. Therefore, any exam may be deferred if you are missing a requisition from your doctor.