Skip to content


An echocardiogram is a painless procedure that enables doctors to see how well the heart is functioning. The test utilizes sound waves to create moving images that are recorded and displayed on a computer. Echocardiography not only enables physicians to see the size and shape of the heart, but it helps them pinpoint heart muscles that aren’t working efficiently and detect blood clots or problems with major arteries. (1)

For some patients, the physician will order an echocardiogram that also utilizes a treadmill. The combination of echocardiogram plus treadmill helps the physician see how the heart performs during exercise or times of added stress. During an echocardiogram, a gel is applied to the chest to help the sound waves reach the heart. A transducer—a wand-like device that transmits ultrasound [link]waves—is moved around on the chest. A computer then converts the images relayed by the sound waves into an image on a computer screen. In addition, electrodes—soft sticky patches used to monitor heart activity— are attached to the patient’s chest during this procedure. These electrodes allow an EKG (electrocardiogram) to record the heart’s rhythm. (2)

Read more about Echocardiography in our article, “What You Need To Know About Your Heart Test.”


  1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute



Cary Medical Group  |  530 New Waverly Place, Suite 200, Cary, NC 27518  |  office: 919.859.5955  |  fax: 919.859.5659
Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. |  Saturday Sick Clinic (by appointment only): 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at our Raleigh Adult Medicine location. (map)

The contents of site, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Site!