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What is an Echocardiogram?

An Echocardiogram is a noninvasive procedure that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to evaluate how well the heart is working. Gel is applied to the chest and a transducer (wand-like apparatus) is moved over the chest area to produce an image of the internal structures of the heart.
The test will take from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the patient's condition and the type of echo needed. This test must be ordered by a doctor.

Why is an Echocardiogram Done?

  • This test will help the doctor to evaluate:
    • how well the heart is moving
    • how well the valves are working
    • the size of the heart and it's pumping chambers (ventricles)

What Preparation is Needed?

  • Instructions:
    • Adults (5 years and older): no restrictions on food, liquids or medications prior to the test.
    • Children (0 to 5 years): a sedative will be given, therefore food and liquids must be restricted prior to the test. Please contact the Short Stay department for instructions the day before the test.

Registration:

  • Pre-register 1-3 days prior to the day the test is scheduled. This will save considerable time on the day of test. Please call 310-517-4754 to pre-register.
  • Adults:
    • Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the test.
    • Enter the hospital through the main lobby.
    • Go directly to the Cardiology Department which is located in the basement.
    • Take the Silver elevators to the left of the lobby to the basement.
    • If not pre-registered, plan to arrive an hour before the scheduled time of the test and first check in at the information desk in the main lobby in order to register.
  • Children under 5:
    • Plan to arrive 1 1/2 hours before the scheduled time of the child's test.
    • Check in at the information desk in the main lobby.
    • The child and parents will be escorted to the Short Stay department where the test will be done.
    • If not pre-registered by phone, plan to arrive 2 hours before the scheduled test time and check in at the information desk in the main lobby in order to register.