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echocardiogram (echo)

The echocardiogram is a non-invasive test used to study the heart's anatomy. It is especially useful for detecting problems with the heart valves and for evaluating congenital heart disease. The echocardiogram is also a good way to get a general idea of the overall function of the heart muscle.

A wand or transducer is placed on the patient's chest and sends sound waves toward the heart. Like the sonar on a submarine, the sound waves bounce off the heart, and are collected by by the transducer.  The returning sound waves are processed by a computer, assembled into a two-dimensional image of the beating heart, and displayed on a TV screen. By aiming the transducer, the technician will be able to image most of the important cardiac structures.

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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