An echocardiogram uses sound waves (ultrasound) to create a picture of your heart. The recorded waves show the shape, texture and movement of your heart valves, as well as the size of your heart chambers and how well they are working. An echocardiogram may be done to assess a variety of heart conditions, such as heart murmurs, damage to heart muscle in those who have had a heart attack, and infections in the heart. It may also be recommended if you are experiencing abnormal heart sounds, shortness of breath, palpitations, angina (chest pain) or have a history of stroke. It is very useful in diagnosing heart valve problems.

What to Expect

A gel is placed on your chest to help transmit the sound waves and a transducer (a unit that directs sound waves) is moved over your chest. This test involves no pain or discomfort. An echocardiogram usually takes 40 to 60 minutes. Results are sent directly to whoever ordered your examination.

Click here to learn more about coming to the hospital for an ultrasound appointment and how to prepare.

Cornwall Community Hospital is an Accredited Echocardiography Facility. Echocardiogram services at Cornwall Community Hospital are accredited through Accreditation Canada’s Echocardiography Quality Improvement Program for meeting and exceeding national standards of excellence.