What it's for
An echocardiogram allows doctors to take pictures of your heart and see its chambers as they move and pump blood.
This test is used to assess both the structure and the function of your heart. It can be used to detect many types of heart disease and can also track the effectiveness of various medications and treatments.
How it's done
Echocardiography is the study of heart and function using sound waves (ultrasound). This is done by moving an ultrasound transducer to various locations on your chest, back or abdomen in order to image each structure of the heart from various viewpoints. A water-soluable gel is used to conduct the sound waves from the transducer to your body. You will not be able to feel or hear sound waves themselves, but you will feel the slight pressure of the transducer on your body as the sonographer positions it in various locations.
Occasionally, an intravenous line needs to be inserted to allow for the administration of small gas bubbles that enhance the images. Please let us know if you have avenous access line in place (e.g.: Mediport), as this access line can often by used for contrast injection.
Many patients find the exam to be a pleasant and interesting experience. Please tell us if you have concerns. We are here to help you!
Technology and expertise at URMC
URMC Cardiology provides the most advanced technology in the region for echocardiograms.
Transthoracic Echocardiogram adds color to echocardiogram images, allowing better analysis of blood flow patterns.
Three-dimensional echocardiogram uses the latest signal processing technology to construct a three dimensional picture of your heart. These images provide your doctors with a complete picture of your heart, enabling them to recommend the best treatment for your heart disease.
Stress echocardiogram allows doctors to see how your heart looks and performs when it is under the stress of exercise.
Transesophageal echocardiogram provides a detailed look at your heart from a perspective that is not possible with traditional echocardiograms.
Having an echocardiogram done with URMC Cardiology? Download our test instructions here.
Who to contact
If you need more information about having diagnostic tests performed at URMC Cardiology, contact us at (585) 275-8218.
View this topic in our Health Encyclopedia.