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A 2D (Transthoracic) Echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound to take a picture of the heart. A probe is placed on the chest or in the esophagus, and high-frequency sound waves – higher than the human ear can pick up – are sent into the body towards the heart. As the sound goes through the different areas of the body, part of it bounces back to the probe and is interpreted by the ultrasound machine into images of the heart and its blood flow
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There is no special preparation for a 2D (Transthoracic) echocardiogram.
Bring with you to your appointment your:
When you arrive at the
Echocardiography Lab check in at the reception desk. The receptionist will ask you:
When you check-in, the receptionist will give you a name band to wear. The sonographer will call you and take you to the procedure room when it is time for your scan. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown, but you should keep your valuables with you.
When you have finished changing, a sonographer will take you into the echocardiography room. They will explain the procedure to you.
During the test, you will be asked to lie flat on your back as wires are placed on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The sonographer will instruct you to turn on your left side and the probe will be placed on your chest. A lubricant (gel) is used to improve picture quality and this may feel cold. Gentle pressure is applied onto your chest as necessary in order to obtain the information but generally should not be painful. Let the sonographer know if he or she is pressing too hard. You will see images of your heart on the monitor, some of which will have color. The colour and the sounds that you may hear coming from the machine are representations of blood flow within your heart.
Once the test is completed, the cardiologist will review the images and write a report and send it to your doctor within 72 hours.
The sonographer cannot give you the results during your visit.
A 2D transthoracic echocardiogram usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.
We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.