What is an Echocardiogram?

Echocardiogram is a non-invasive procedure that uses ultrasound wave to create moving images of your heart. During an echo test, high-frequency sound waves from a hand-held probe placed on your chest generate pictures of the heart’s valves and chambers and helps the sonographer evaluate the pumping action of the heart. Echo is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart’s valves. The test is safe and painless.

Why is an Echocardiogram Performed?

  1. Assess the overall structure and function of your heart. 
  2. Determine the presence of many types of heart disease, such as valve disease, myocardial disease, pericardial disease, infective endocarditis, cardiac masses, and congenital heart disease
  3. Look for cause of abnormal heart sounds, an enlarged heart, unexplained chest pain, shortness of breath, or irregular heartbeats.
  4. Follow the progress of valve disease over time
  5. Evaluate the effectiveness of your medical or surgical treatments