An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart. Sound waves are used to create a moving picture which shows the structure and function of the heart muscle and valves.
BEFORE YOU COME
There is no special preparation for the test, however there are some things you may want to consider.
You will need to register for your test in Unit 206, however, the test is done down the hallway in Unit 210; if you have mobility concerns, you can send someone down to the registration desk in Unit 206 to register for you while you wait in the 210 waiting room but please make the staff aware
WHEN YOU'RE HERE
This test is performed in Medical Centre 1
Suite 206, 430 The Boardwalk, Waterloo, ON
Please head to the CPS Registration Desk and we will direct you from there.
You will be asked to lay down on your back or on your side in a darkened room. A trained sonographer (ultrasound technologist) will place electrodes (small conducting stickers) on your chest to record your heart rate and rhythm. Then, an instrument called a transducer will be placed on your ribs near the breast bone and is directed toward your heart. A cool gel will be applied to ease the motion of the transducer against your skin. This transducer releases high-frequency sound waves and will be moved by the sonographer to take images from different locations on your chest.
Please note that your technologist may determine that contrast (a microscopic solution, not a dye) is required for improving diagnostic image quality. Upon your consent, contrast would be delivered intravenously (through an IV). Any concerns regarding contrast can be discussed with your technologist at the time of your appointment.
How long will my appointment be?
AFTER YOU LEAVE
The sonographer will send the images to one of our cardiologist who will then interpret the images, write a report, and send the results to your doctor.
There are many reasons why your doctor may have ordered an echocardiogram.
Having an echocardiogram is helpful to diagnose:
Heart attack or stroke
Shortness of Breath
High blood pressure
Congenital heart disease
Infection or inflammation involving the heart
Decreased heart function
If you are still wondering why you were referred to us for an echocardiogram, we encourage you to reach out to your doctor and ask for clarification.