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What is it?

An echocardiogram is a cardiac test that employs ultrasound to take images of the heart. Your technologist will place an ultrasound probe on your chest wall and use sound waves aimed at the heart. These sound waves will bounce off of the heart and produce a series of images that will help your doctor understand the size and structure of your heart, the blood flow to your heart as well as the function of the valves in your heart.

What do I need to do?

No special preparation is required. 

Please bring a valid OHIP Card to your appointment.

Please arrive 10 minutes before your appointment to check in. 

How long will it take?

Approximately 45 minutes.

What can I expect on the day of my test?

Shortly after you check-in, one of our Echo Technologists bring you into the exam room and conduct a brief interview explaining the procedure. You will then be asked to remove your shirt and lie flat on the examining table. The Echo Technologist will apply wires to monitor your heart rate and use a lubricant on your chest to help improve the quality of the images; this may feel cold. The Technologist will gently apply pressure to the probe against your chest wall as they take a variety of pictures of the size, structure and blood flow to your heart.

If your procedure has been ordered with contrast, your technologist will set-up an intravenous line in your hand or arm to administer a contrast agent that will help to visualize your heart muscle better. Contrast administration typically adds 20 to 30 minutes to your procedure time.

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