OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a non-invasive ultrasound test that helps diagnose coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, and heart murmurs.

This is a test which produces images of the heart by using sound waves. The echocardiogram is simple, painless, obtained within a short period of time, and offers valuable information to your doctor. The images from an echocardiogram can provide cardiac information such as:

  • Heart size
  • Heart muscle function
  • Heart valve function
  • Aneurysm detection
  • Evidence of a past heart attack
  • Fluid buildup around the heart
  • Heart muscle thickening
  • Assess heart valve function after heart valve surgery

Every patient is unique, and our physicians will work closely with you to individualize your care and needs.

Preparing for Your Test

No special preparation is needed. Dress and eat normally.

What to Expect

The echocardiogram test normally takes less than one hour.

You will need to remove the clothes from your waist up.

A small hand-held device about the size of a microphone is lubricated with gel and placed at various areas on your chest. The gel helps transmit the sound waves from the hand-held device. The sound waves harmlessly bounce off your heart to allow the heart images to be captured in "real time" motion. These images are then recorded on videotape and stored on a computer so your cardiologist, or specialized heart doctor, can interpret the echocardiogram.

Results & Recovery

Your results will be sent to the ordering physician.

Hours/Location/Contact

The Cardiology Department at OSF St. Joseph is located at Entrance A. Valet parking is available at this entrance.

Hours of operation for cardiology are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Once your physician has placed the order for your test, please call (309) 661-5160 to schedule your appointment.

Should you need to cancel your appointment for any reason, please call 24-hours in advance whenever possible. If you cannot call at least 24-hours ahead, please call as soon as you know you need to cancel. Chances are, another patient can use your appointment time.