FAQs You Might Have Before An Echocardiogram

Learning that you might have a problem with your heart can be terrifying. You know that the tests your doctor is recommending are necessary in order to figure out exactly what's wrong. However, having to undergo an echocardiogram can still be quite scary. Having your questions answered can really help you feel more comfortable with the upcoming procedure. 

What types of disorders does the echocardiogram check for?

As your doctor sends you in for your echocardiogram, you'll probably wonder what they're hoping to detect with this test. An echocardiogram is a visual test. It uses sound waves to generate visual images of your heart, and your doctor can then look over those images for signs of any abnormalities. Usually, when a doctor calls for an echocardiogram, they're looking for defects in your heart valves and chambers. These defects could be thickening heart muscle, holes in the heart walls, torn valves, and other issues along those lines. 

What will the test feel like?

You shouldn't feel much at all while the technician is carrying out this test. A gel will be applied to your chest, and the technician will hold a special instrument, which produces soundwaves, against your chest. You'll feel the pressure of the instrument being pressed into your skin, but there won't be any pain or even any tingling. When the test is over, your technician should wipe away the gel, and you can put your clothing back on.

How long will it take to get the results of your echocardiogram?

This depends on how your doctor likes to schedule their appointments. Sometimes, the doctor may review the echocardigram results immediately and discuss them with you almost as soon as the test is over. Other times, you may need to go back to your doctor's office a few days after your appointment to discuss the results.

If your doctor works on a large medical campus and you have your echocardiogram done at the same facility, then it's more likely you'll get the results the same day. If your doctor sent you to an outside imaging center or cardiac testing center, then you may need to wait a bit longer for your doctor to receive and interpret the results.

Echocardiograms are non-invasive tests that can tell your doctor a lot about your heart. If you have more questions about the test, reach out to your doctor prior to your appointment.