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What Is Echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a study performed using a specialized machine. It uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) reflected from various structures in and around the heart to provide information about both the structure and function of the heart. This means those details about the anatomy of the heart as well as function of the heart muscle and valves can be obtained.

This procedure is usually performed to help us evaluate the following:
  • How well the heart is moving
  • How well the valves are working
  • The size of the heart and it's pumping chambers (ventricles)

What Preparation Is Needed?
Please follow these precautions before coming to an echocardiogram:
  • For adults and children 5 years or older:
    • No restrictions on food or liquids
    • The medications should be taken as usual

How Echocardiogram Is Performed?
Echocardiogram is a noninvasive procedure that involves the following steps:
  1. Gel is applied to the chest.

  2. Transducer (wand-like apparatus) is moved over the chest area to produce an image of the heart structure.

  3. The test usually takes from 30 to 90 minutes.

  4. The duration depends on:
    • Your condition.
    • Type of echo needed.

Risk Factors
There are no risks associated with the procedure.

Useful Links
  1. Echocardiography
    This article provides a basic level introduction into an echocardiography. It is well structured, organized into practical categories such as purpose, preparation, advantages/disadvantages, etc. The article also contains helpful illustrations.

  2. Heart Damage Detection
    American Heart Association provides a brief description of all the different types of echocardiogram tests that can be done. It also discusses alternative ways for heart disease detection.

  3. Echocardiogram
    The articles explains in details how and why the echocardiogram is done, what preparation is needed, what information it provides, and much more. If you are interested in learning more about echocardiograms, please visit this site.
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