what is it?
A transthoracic echocardiogram is a cardiac test that employs ultrasound to take images of the heart. Your technologist will place an ultrasound probe on your chest wall and use sound waves aimed at the heart. These sound waves will bounce off of the heart and produce a series of images that will help your cardiologist understand the size and structure of your heart, the blood flow to your heart as well as the function of the valves in your heart.
In a stress echocardiogram, your technologist will utilize an echocardiography imaging machine in conjunction with a treadmill to image your heart before and after exercise.
What do I need to do?
Please bring a valid OHIP Card to your appointment. If you do not have an OHIP Card, please bring another form of government issued ID such as (Drivers License, Passport, or another provincial health card). Please also bring a signed requisition from your physician and arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to check in. The receptionist will verify your information and admit you for the procedure.
Please ensure to wear comfortable shoes and clothing on the day of your test as well as a list of any medications you are taking. If you are taking any Beta Blocker medication (Bisoprolol, Atenolol, Metoprolol, etc.), please speak with your referring physician to seek approval to discontinue the medication 48 hours before your test. Always speak to your healthcare provider before stopping any medication.
What can I expect on the day of the test?
Shortly after you check-in one of our Echo Technologists bring you into the exam room and conduct a brief interview explaining the procedure. You will then be asked to remove your shirt and electrodes will be placed on your chest to measure your heart activity. The Echo Technologist will apply wires to monitor your heart rate and use a lubricant to your chest to help improve the quality of the images; this may feel cold. The Technologist will gently apply pressure to the probe against your chest wall as they take a variety of pictures of the size, structure and blood flow of your heart. Once the initial images are completed, you will start to walk on the treadmill at a low speed and inclination that gradually increase until you feel that you cannot continue. You are in control and always remember to let your technologist know how you are feeling. The technologist will then place you back on the echocardiography imaging bed to take images of your heart while it is still at peak exercise.
how long will it take
This procedure takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.
how long will it take for the results to get to my family physician?
Your results will be ready within 72 hours
For more information about the stress echo please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416.284.4744 to speak to one of our technologists.