Echocardiography is a test that uses sound waves to produce live images of your heart. The image is an echocardiogram. This test allows your doctor to monitor how your heart and its valves are functioning. The images can help them assess:
- heart function
- fluid in the sac around the heart
- problems with the aorta, which is the main artery connected to the heart
An echocardiogram is key in determining the health of the heart muscle, especially after a heart attack. A device called a transducer will be placed on your chest over your heart. The transducer sends ultrasound waves through your chest toward your heart. A computer interprets the sound waves as they bounce back to the transducer. This produces the live images that are shown on a monitor. This is a transthoracic echocardiogram and is the most common type of echocardiography.
It’s painless and noninvasive.