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Outpatient Services > Types of Echocardiograms

Types of Echocardiograms

Your doctor may order one of several types of echocardiograms. These include:

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram — This is the most common echocardiogram. A transducer is moved over your chest to provide different views. This test requires no special preparation.
  • Stress echocardiogram — Images are captured before and after your heart is stressed from exercise or medication to make it beat harder and faster. You should not eat heavily for a few hours before the test in order to prevent nausea. If you will exercise on a treadmill, you should wear sneakers or other flat shoes and lightweight shorts or sweatpants.
  • Doppler echocardiogram — This test measures blood flow through your heart and blood vessels. This test requires no special preparation.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram — Instead of an external transducer, this test uses a probe passed through your esophagus. You should not eat or drink for at least six hours before the test, and you should remove any dentures. You should also make arrangements for someone to drive you home, because you will be sedated.

>> Learn more about types of echocardiograms and how to prepare

Getting your results

The nurse or technologist is not permitted to discuss test results with you. A cardiologist will interpret the study and forward results to your doctor. After the test, you may be asked to wait for further instructions until after the cardiologist reads the study.  You can also view your results at MyLGHealth, a safe, secure online tool.

It’s easy to schedule an appointment

If your doctor wants you to have an echocardiogram, you can easily make an appointment by calling (717) 544-5941. When you come for your echocardiogram, be sure to bring the order from your physician with you.

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