What is a 2-D Echo?
An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound to examine the heart structures. This test allows doctors to rule out specific heart problems.
How does it work?
A technician will apply gel onto a transducer/probe to your chest. The 2-D Echo shows the actual shape and motion of the different heart structures. The Doppler shows the blood flow through the heart. You may hear a whooshing sound during the Doppler. This is the sound of the blood moving through your heart.
Why do I need an Echo?
An echo will provide the Cardiologist with useful information about the heart.
- Size of the heart: the echo is used for measuring the heart wall thickness and size of the heart chambers.
- Pumping strength: the test shows if the heart is pumping at full strength or is weak.
- Valve problems: the test will show the shape and motion of your heart valves. It will show if a valve is leaking or narrowed.
- Other uses: the test may also show if there are any blood clots, masses, abnormal holes in the heart, or fluid around the heart.
Are there any preparations for the test?
There are no special instructions for the test. Always remember to bring your insurance cards, referral if needed, order, and your medication list.
What happens during the test?
While lying on a table, the technician will prep your chest with the rubbing alcohol and electrodes. Gel will be applied to the transducer and placed on your chest. The technician may have you change positions or may ask you to hold your breathe for a few seconds. The images are captured on a video tape for the doctor to review.
How long does the test take?
The 2-D Echo takes about 45 minutes. The test results will then be given to the doctor to review. Allow 7-10 working days to receive the results.
What are the benefits?
An echo gives the doctor information about the hearts structures and blood flow without anything entering the body. Major limitations to having an echo are difficulty obtaining good images. This is due to broad chests, obesity, or patients suffering from chronic lung disease.