An Echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart using a transducer. A transducer is an instrument that transmits high-frequency sound waves.
The transducer picks up the echoes of the sound waves and transmits them as electrical impulses. The echocardiography machine converts these impulses into moving pictures of the heart. Thus, creating a picture that is much more detailed than x-ray image, involving no radiation and needing no additional preparation for the test.
During the test a sonographer applies a gel, and places the transducer on your ribs near the breast bone, directing it towards the heart. You will be disrobed from the waist up and during most of the test you will be laying on your back. You will be asked to do certain things such as, holding your breath, or rolling over to either side. Electrodes will be placed on your chest so an electrocardiogram can be done. An electrocardiogram is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart. Doing so the doctors can determine if your heart is beating properly.
Usually takes up to 30 minutes for the test to be complete.