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Echocardiograms

Echocardiograms

Echocardiograms, sometimes called echocardiography or a cardiac ultrasound, use sound waves to produce real-time images of the structures of your heart and the blood as it flows through your hear..

Each type of echocardiogram requires its own pre-test preparation and provides Queen’s Heart with a unique look at your heart.

Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram

A Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram, or Dobutamine Stress Echo, is used to evaluate your heart function when it is “stressed.” In this case, because you may not be able to walk on a treadmill or exercise long enough to “stress” your heart, you will be given a medication to make your heart beat faster and stronger. We use ultrasound images before, during and after you receive this medication to help your doctor look at your heart function.

What to Expect During the Test

An IV (intravenous) line will be started in a vein in your arm to give you the dobutamine medication. During this time, an electrocardiogram (EKG) will measure the electrical activity of your heart. You may feel a mild headache, shaky, and warm or flushed when the dobutamine is being given. You will also feel your heart start to beat faster and harder; this is normal.

This test takes approximately two hours. You will be asked to stay for approximately 30 minutes following the test to assure you do not have any problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back and/or dizziness.

After the Test

Should you experience chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back, or dizziness, please call your doctor and 911.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: No special preparations are required for this test. You will be able to drive home after this test.
  • Food and Drink: You should not eat or drink within three hours of the testing.
  • Medications: Please consult with your physician if you should hold any of your medications before taking this test. If allowed to take your medications as usual, please take them with small sips of water.
  • Clothing: Wear a shirt that can be easily removed while you wear your skirt or pants. One-piece clothing and dresses are not recommended. A hospital pajama top will be provided.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.

Appointment and Pre-Registration Required

Call the Queen’s Pre-Registration Department at 808-691-4770 three days before your scheduled test to update your registration. Please have your medical insurance cards ready for verification.

Stress Echocardiogram

A Stress Echocardiogram, or Stress Echo, is a test that is used to evaluate your heart function when it is “stressed” after you walk on a treadmill. We use ultrasound images before and after you walk on the treadmill to help your doctor look at your heart function.

What to Expect During the Test

For the first part of the test – the echocardiogram or echo – a special gel will be placed on your chest to help obtain the images of your heart with the ultrasound probe. The ultrasound probe will then be place on different parts of your chest to look at your heart from different views.

Next, you will be asked to walk on a treadmill, which will gradually get steeper and faster. Your heart will be monitored during the test using electrocardiogram (EKG) to determine your heart rate and any changes in your heart’s rhythm. A second echocardiogram will be performed immediately following the treadmill walk to compare cardiac structures and changes in wall function.

This test is painless and involves little risk. Test results will be sent to your physician who will discuss them with you.

This test takes approximately one hour. You will be asked to stay for approximately 30 minutes following the test to make sure that you do not have any problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back, and dizziness.

After the Test

Should you experience chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back, or dizziness, please call your doctor and 911.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: No special preparations are required for this test. You will be able to drive home after this test.
  • Food and Drink: It is okay to eat a light breakfast (coffee or tea and toast or cereal) at least two hours before the appointment. You should not eat or drink within two hours of the testing.
  • Medications: Please consult with your physician if you should hold any of your medications before taking this test. If allowed to take your medications as usual, please take them with small sips of water.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes for exercise.
  • An IV may need to be started to give an ultrasound image enhancer if the baseline ultrasound images are not able to see two or more segments of the heart wall. The staff will explain the process prior to proceeding.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

Appointment and Pre-Registration Required

Call the Queen’s Pre-Registration Department at 808-691-4770 three days before your scheduled test to update your registration. Please have your medical insurance cards ready for verification.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram

Transesophageal Echocardiogram, sometimes called a “T-E-E”, uses sound waves to produce real-time images of the size, shape, movement, and blood flow of your heart. In this study, the pictures are taken from inside your throat and stomach area, which will let your doctor see your heart structure and function. This test is often done to get close-up pictures of your heart’s valves, chambers, and other structures. This test can also be done during a cardiac surgery to assist in the repair of cardiac valves.

What to Expect During the Test

A nurse will help you to prepare you for this test. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and an IV (intravenous) line will be placed in your arm. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your upper arm and a small tube will be placed under your nose to provide oxygen. Your doctor or nurse will spray your throat with a medicine to make your throat numb. Then, you will be given medications by vein to make you comfortable; you may fall asleep during the test.

To take the ultrasound pictures of your heart, your doctor will insert a long, thin tube into your mouth and throat, which will pass down toward your stomach.

You should plan to be in the hospital for a total of four to five hours.

After the Test

You may experience a sore throat for several hours after the test. If your throat pain lasts longer than a day or if it worsens, call your doctor. If you experience severe pain or shortness of breath, call your doctor and 911, or go to the nearest emergency room for help.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: Make arrangements for transportation to and from the test. You will NOT be able to drive yourself after the testing.
  • Food and Drink: Do not eat or drink after midnight prior to your appointment.
  • Medications: Please consult with your physician if you should hold any of your medications before taking this test. If allowed to take medications, please take them with small sips of water.
  • Clothing: Wear a shirt that can be easily removed while you wear your skirt or pants. One-piece clothing and dresses are not recommended. A hospital pajama top will be provided.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive two hours prior to your scheduled appointment.

Appointment and Pre-Registration Required

Call the Queen’s Pre-Registration Department at 808-691-4770 three days before your scheduled test to update your registration. Please have your medical insurance cards ready for verification.

Transthoracic Echocardiogram

Sometimes called Echocardiography, Echo, “T-T-E”, or a Cardiac Ultrasound, a Transthoracic Echocardiagram, uses sound waves to produce real-time images of the structures of your heart and the blood as it flows through your hear..

What to Expect During the Test

A special gel will be placed on your chest to help obtain the images of your heart with the ultrasound probe. The ultrasound probe will then be place on different parts of your chest to look at your heart from different views. 

This test is painless and involves little risk. Test results will be sent to your physician who will discuss them with you.

This test takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour.

In some cases your physician may order an Echocardiogram with a Bubble Study. After the routine echocardiogram additional images will be taken after agitated saline is injected through an IV. Images are recorded to watch the agitated saline travels through your heart. 

After the Test

Should you experience chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, pain into your jaw or back or dizziness, please call your doctor and 911.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: No special preparations are required for this test. You will be able to drive home after this test.
  • Food and Drink: You may eat before this test, however, avoid eating a large meal as it may make you feel uncomfortable or full during the testing.
  • Medications: Please take your medication as prescribed by your physician.
  • Clothing: Wear a shirt that can be easily removed while you wear your skirt or pants. One-piece clothing and dresses are not recommended. A hospital pajama top will be provided. An IV may need to be started to give an ultrasound image enhancer if the baseline ultrasound images are not able to see two or more segments of the heart wall. The staff will explain the process prior to proceeding.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

Appointment and Pre-Registration Required

Call the Queen’s Pre-Registration Department at 808-691-4770 three days before your scheduled test to update your registration. Please have your medical insurance cards ready for verification.