An echocardiogram (or "echo") is a diagnostic test for the heart. An ultrasound is performed on the heart by applying an instrument to the outside of the chest. Gel is applied to the chest to enable transmission of the ultrasonic waves. Detailed measurements of heart size and function and heart valve function are possible. The test takes about 30 minutes and is performed while lying down.
A qualified cardiac sonographer will perform the examination. Images will be recorded and subsequently reviewed by the cardiologist. A report will be created which will be forwarded to your referring doctor. Your cardiologist will use this information to help with your overall cardiac treatment.