An Echocardiography, more commonly referred to as an Echo Heart Scan, is an ultrasound test which allows the cardiologist to see accurate pictures of the heart muscle, the pumping chambers and the heart valves.
A probe is placed on the chest wall and an inaudible ultrasound beam passes out from the probe, reflects back from the structures within the heart and allows the cardiologist to build up an accurate image of the heart. A variety of views are taken to look at the heart structures. When these views are completed, a Doppler analysis is performed to analyse blood flow from chamber to chamber and across valves. More specialised analyses can be done looking at particular areas of the heart muscle, its movement and its relaxation.
The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes and is non-invasive.