Echocardiography is a medical procedure that uses sound waves to produce an image of a person’s heart. The result is called an echocardiogram and is a commonly used to provide images of the heart beating and how blood flows through it. A doctor uses these images to diagnose heart disease or other medical issues.
An echocardiogram is produced to check for the following:
• Problems in the function of valves and chambers in a heart
• Whether symptoms including shortness of breath and chest pain are related to the heart
• Congenital heart defects in a fetus
During an echocardiogram a technician spreads gel on a device called a transducer and presses it firmly against the chest area of the patient; this aims an ultrasound beam through the chest to the heart muscle. The transducer records the sound waves as they are reflected from the heart and converts them to an image on a computer monitor that the doctor then checks for any issues.