Echocardiography (cardiac ultrasound)

An echocardiography uses ultrasound waves to create images of your heart. This diagnostic test is also called a Doppler test, echo Doppler, transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), echocardiogram or cardiac ultrasound. Ultrasound exams use high-frequency sound waves to look at internal organs. As the sound waves are bounced off the body, they produce images that identify the size, location and shape of internal structures.

A cardiac ultrasound is used to examine the heart and its blood supply; to determine the size of the heart and how well it contracts, as well as the valves function.

The echocardiography is a specialized ultrasound exam provided by the Medical Imaging Department in the Cardiology Clinic.

How to access our services?

You must have a referral from your doctor or another healthcare professional to get an appointment for this test.

About The Program

Before your appointment

  1. Your family doctor will fax us a request – please make sure that your contact information is accurate so we may call you.
  2. We will call you to schedule an appointment. It could take up to a few months between your doctor’s referral and your appointment for the cardiac ultrasound at HGH.
  3. You will receive a reminder a few days before your appointment.
  4. No special preparation is required for an echocardiography. Take your regular medication on the day of your exam.

What to bring

  • Valid Health card

When you arrive

  • Please register at one of the self-registration kiosks at the Main Entrance at least 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment.
  • Upon registering, take a “puck”. It will buzz and light up when your turn comes up and indicate in which room to report. Wait in the Ambulatory Care Clinics waiting room.
  • Use the Cardiology door to go to your exam room when your turn comes up.
  • Room numbers and other public interest messages are presented on the TV screens.

Procedure

  • You will have to remove clothing on your upper body.
  • During the examination, you lie on your back or side on a table. The technologist applies clear, odourless gel on your chest and moves a handheld ultrasound probe along your chest. The probe movements produce images on a screen.
  • The examination is not painful and may take up to 30 minutes. You may feel a slight pressure when the probe is pushed against your chest.

Test results

  • Cardiology and radiology technologists are not able to give you the results of your exam. Results will be sent to your physician within 10 business days.
  • Results will also be available in your electronic medical record. For information on the creation of an account and how to access your electronic medical record, visit MyChart.
  • You must book an appointment with your family doctor or healthcare professional who sent us the referral to discuss your test results.