An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound which sends sound waves through a device to your heart. The device records the echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of your heart. The echoes provide the picture of your beating heart on a video screen.
At Mercy Gilbert, we perform two types of echocardiograms—your doctor will determine which test is best for you:
- Transthoracic echocardiogram—the device is moved across your chest and stomach to obtain various views of your heart. This is the most common form of this test.
- Transesophageal echocardiogram—a probe is inserted down your throat to the esophagus, providing a clearer image of your heart because your rib cage and lungs are not blocking the sound waves. Prior to this test, we will give you a sedative and apply an anesthetic to your throat for your comfort.
Why Do I Need an Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram will tell your doctor how well your heart muscle and valves are working. This information will be used to make a diagnosis of the symptoms you've been experiencing.
How Do I Prepare?
Be sure to wear a separate top and bottom. You will need to undress from your waist up and wear a hospital gown.
What Should I Expect?
It takes approximately one hour for our echocardiogram sonographer to complete the test. The length of time may vary slightly depending on how easily the necessary information is obtained.
Our sonographer will place small electrodes on your chest to monitor your heartbeat, and apply a warm water-soluble gel to your skin so the device can better transmit the sound waves. You may feel slight pressure on your chest from the device.
During your echocardiogram, you will be asked to remain silent and lie in different positions on the table. The lights in the room will be dimmed or turned off.
When Will I Receive My Results?
After your Mercy Gilbert cardiologist makes a diagnosis, we will send the results of your electrocardiogram to the doctor that ordered the test. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and then determine a plan of action.
Learn More About Echocardiograms at Mercy Gilbert?
Please do not hesitate to ask the echocardiogram sonographer if you have questions at any time. We want you to be informed and comfortable while in our care. Learn more about all of our Cardiopulmonary Services or call us anytime at (480) 728-7208.