Echo-cardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. The picture is much more detailed than x-ray image and involves no radiation
You will be asked to disrobe from the waist up and will lie on an examination table on your back. Electrodes will be placed onto your chest to allow for an ECG to be done. A gel will be spread on your chest and then the transducer (probe) will be applied. You will feel a slight pressure on your chest from the transducer. You may be asked to breathe in a certain way or to roll over onto your left side.
If you have had an ultrasound
done in the past, maybe for a pregnancy
or gall bladder
testing, it will look like the same probe and the same gel is applied.
Leaky heart valves can be caused by a number of reasons, everything from being genetic to caused be injury
. Depending on what the echo shows will help make a decision on how to treat it. Some need no treatment, others go to the other extreme in that they require complete replacement. They can also require treatment in the form of medication, abstaning from alcohol, loosing weight, or many other forms of treatment.