An Echocardiogram ( transthoracic echocardiogram or TTE ) is an ultrasound imaging scan of the heart using high frequency sound waves to see all four chambers of the heart, the heart valves and the sac around the heart. What can I expect? Your echocardiogram will be performed by a highly qualified echo technologist.
After undressing from the waist up, you will be asked to lie on an examining bed. The technologist will attach sticky patches (electrodes) to your body to monitor your heart rate.
During the echocardiogram, the technologist will dim the lights to better view the image on the monitor. You may hear a pulsing “whoosh” sound, which is the machine recording the blood flowing through your heart. During the echocardiogram, you may be asked to breathe in a certain way or to roll onto your left side. Sometimes the transducer must be held very firmly against your chest.
This can be uncomfortable but it helps the technologist produce the best images of your heart. Most echocardiograms take s about 30- 45 minutes, but the timing of your test may vary depending on your condition. Once the test is over, the gel is wiped off and the electrodes are removed. Your initial images will be reviewed by your cardiologist before final report is produced which will be mailed to your referring doctors.