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Echocardiogram (echo)

Overview

An echocardiogram (echo) is a noninvasive test that uses high-frequency sound wave technology to visualize your heart in action. During the procedure, you will lie on a table as a doctor or echo technician moves an instrument called a transducer over your torso. The transducer sends sounds waves to the cardiac region. As these waves bounce off your heart, their echoes travel back through the transducer to a computer that measures and processes the sound data. The results appear as a series of moving pictures on a video monitor. Your cardiologist can then analyze these images to diagnose any abnormalities in the structure or function of your heart muscle and valves. A stress test may also be performed in conjunction with this procedure.

Before Your Appointment

  • Please pre-register for your appointment by calling 978-937-6429.
    Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • An Appointment Reminder with specific instructions for your exam will be mailed to you.
  • Please keep the written order from your physician to bring to the exam.
  • Obtain copies of any recent echoes performed at other facilities to bring to the exam.

Exam Preparation

No special preparation is required for this test.

During the Procedure

You will be asked to lie on a table with the area to be examined exposed. A warm, water-based gel will be applied to the area, and as the technician or physician conducting the exam slides a handheld probe over the prepared skin surface, moving images of your heart will appear on the nearby video monitor. If a stress echocardiogram is ordered, you may be asked to exercise on a stationery bicycle or treadmill while a second test is performed.

After the Procedure

You may resume your normal activities.

 

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