Heart Ultrasound (Echocardiogram)

An echocardiogram, or echo test, is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create computerized images of the heart. The technology allows clinicians to view anatomical structures like heart muscles, heart valves, and blood vessels like arteries, the aorta, veins. An echo is used by your doctor to view the heart and to monitor how well the heart is functioning.

Heart Ultrasound (Echocardiogram)

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What is an Echo-cardiogram (Heart Ultrasound)?

A heart ultrasound – also known as echocardiogram or echo test—is a test that uses high-frequency sound waves to create computerized images of the heart (heart muscles, heart valves, and the attached blood vessels like arteries, aorta, veins). An echo test will be used by your doctor to look at the structure of your heart and to check how well the heart is functioning. The echo test will help the doctor find out: Size, shape, thickness of your heart and the movement of the heart’s walls. Pumping strength of the heart. Performance of the heart valves and if there is any blood leaking backwards through the valves. Identify if the heart valves are too narrow. Presence of an infectious growth or tumor around the heart valve. Presence of blood clots in the heart chambers. Presence of abnormal holes between the heart chambers. Presence of particularly large blood vessels that enter or leave your heart. Problems with the outer heart lining (pericardium). Also, the images created by the ultrasound test are more detailed than traditional X-rays. An echocardiogram, also known as echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound, aids in determining the condition of your heart, especially post heart-attack. It also helps in identifying heart defects in fetus in utero for pregnant women. The echocardiogram test is painless, and safe as it does not expose you to radiation.

How long does the test take?

The echocardiogram usually takes an hour.

What are the risks of the procedure?

With a doctor or technologist present throughout the echocardiogram procedure, there are rarely any risks involved. Also, since the imaging procedure is non-invasive in the body, it carries minimal risks. The only discomfort you will experience is with the transducer, which can put a little pressure on the surface of your chest. For few people, having to lie down on one side during the whole procedure may result in some pain or discomfort. There can be few other risks depending upon your medical condition. Be sure to discuss your concerns with the doctor prior to the procedure.

How do I prepare? Do I need to fast?

No preparation or fasting required. Just bring your LabFinder Order and Insurance Card to your appointment.

When will I receive my results?

Results will be uploaded on the LabFinder portal within 3-5 days. You may access the reports by logging in to the portal using your credentials. Depending upon on your test results, you will be guided further by your doctor.

How can I learn more about an echo test?

Have a discussion with your doctors. Here are some good questions to begin with; Why is this particular echo test performed? What do I need to do to prepare for the test? Should I be undergoing any other tests? Explore LabFinder.com to get accurate and instant help to find a ‘heart ultrasound (echocardiogram) near you.

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* This is for educational purposes only. LabFinder does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All users should consult with a medical provider in person for any health concerns.