An echocardiogram is a non-invasive ultrasound test for the heart. We determine the structure, function and size of the heart by using ultrasound waves. We also measure the direction and velocity of blood flow. Placing a transducer on the chest produces a real time image. The resulting image allows the cardiologist to assess the function of the heart chambers, walls and valves.
Physicians order this test for patients when they have symptoms or conditions such as:
- Abnormal heart sounds, such as heart murmurs
- Chest pain and myocardial infarction (heart attack)
- Shortness of breath
- Family history of cardiac abnormalities
- Arrhythmias or irregular heart beat
- Artificial heart valves
Click here to view the echocardiogram brochure.
Location and Contact Information
To make an echocardiogram appointment at the Markham site, please visit the Make an Appointment page.
To make an echocardiogram appointment at the Uxbridge site, please call 905 852 9771 ext. 5249.
We suggest parking in the main hospital parking lot, opposite the Link Lobby Entrance and Medical Office Building, when visiting diagnostic services.
Please go to the central registration desk on the main floor of Building A, before heading to diagnostic services on the second floor in Building B where you'll be directed to the designated waiting room.
Diagnostic services is located in Uxbridge Cottage Hospital – 4 Campbell Drive, Uxbridge.
For more information on parking at the Markham or Uxbridge sites, please click here.
This test is performed by a cardiac sonographer and interpreted by a cardiologist and/or radiologist.
What You Should Know
There are no special instructions for this test. You may take your medications and eat as you normally.
This test uses the same technology as any ultrasound test.
Before Your Visit
There is no preparation needed before your test. It is best to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to remove. Please do not wear perfume on the day of your test.
Please arrive 30 minutes before your test to register at the central registration desk in Builing A. Please bring your health card and your requisition (if your physician has provided you with one).
During Your Visit
Please allow at least 45 minutes to complete your echocardiogram.
You will only need to remove clothing from the waist up and we provide women with a gown. You can leave pants, shoes and jewellery on.
You will be lying on your left side for most of the test and the room will be darkened. You will feel pressure around the heart area from the transducer the sonographer uses. We also test the blood flow through your heart and you will hear a computerized interpretation of your heart sounds.
After Your Visit
There are no side effects of an echocardiogram, and no radiation is used.
Our cardiologist/radiologist will send the results of your test to your physician in writing. Your sonographer is not able to give you the results of your test.
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