What to Expect

How to Prepare

There is no special preparation for a 2D (Transthoracic) echocardiogram.

Bring with you to your appointment your:

  • Health card (OHIP card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license, passport, or other provincial health card). Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.

Checking In

When you arrive at the Echocardiography Lab check in at the reception desk. The receptionist will ask you:

  • For your Health card (OHIP card)
  • Your name, address and birth date

Before the 2D (Transthoracic) Echocardiogram

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 and After the 2D (Transthoracic) Echocardiogram

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.

The Results of Your 2D (Transthoracic) Echocardiogram

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.

How Long Will Your Appointment Be?

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.