What happens during the test?
Before the test, the health care provider will explain the procedure in detail, including possible complications and side effects. You will have the opportunity to ask questions.
Your test will take place in the Echo Lab. The testing area is supervised by a physician.
You will be given a hospital gown to wear. You’ll be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up.
A sonographer will place three electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on your chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph (EKG) monitor that charts your heart’s electrical activity during the test.
The sonographer will ask you to lie on your left side on an exam table. The sonographer will place a wand (called a sound-wave transducer) on several areas of your chest. The wand will have a small amount of gel on the end, which will not harm your skin. This gel helps produce clearer pictures.
Sounds are part of the Doppler signal. You may or may not hear the sounds during the test.
You may be asked to change positions several times during the exam so the sonographer can take pictures of different areas of the heart. You may also be asked to hold your breath at times.
How will I feel during the test?
You should feel no major discomfort during the test. You may feel a coolness on your skin from the gel on the transducer, and a slight pressure of the transducer on your chest.
How long does the test take?
The appointment will take about 40 minutes. After the test, you may get dressed and go home or go to your other scheduled appointments.