A photo a technician conducting an echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is an ultrasound test of the heart. It is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to evaluate how well the heart is pumping.

Gel is applied to the chest and a special transducer is moved over the chest area to produce an image of the heart on a computer screen. This is a safe and painless test and must be ordered by a doctor.

Why did my doctor order this test?

This test will help the doctor evaluate how well your heart is working. The ultrasound will show:

  • wall thickness and motion;
  • valve thickness and motion;
  • the size of the heart and the pumping chambers;
  • if there is any scarring after a heart attack;
  • any fluid build-up around the heart; and/or
  • any masses.
What should I do to prepare for this test?

There are no restrictions or special preparations for this test. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your appointment so you can be registered. Please have your health card ready. Bring a list of all of medications you are currently taking.

How long will this test take?

This test takes approximately 30 minutes.