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When your cardiologist wants a picture of your beating heart, you may undergo an echocardiogram (also called an echo). This technology uses sound waves to produce an image of your heart as it works. Your doctor may have you get an echocardiogram to diagnose heart disease or to evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment.

At New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) Heart Center, echos often represent the first test you need. We offer a wide array of sophisticated diagnostic tests for heart disease.

All echocardiography studies use a hand-held device that emits high-frequency sound waves and captures images as those waves bounce off the structures of your heart.

Echocardiogram is minimally invasive and is performed in our Cardiovascular Laboratory.

Types of Echocardiograms We Offer

At New Hanover Regional Medical Center, we offer the three major types of echocardiograms:

Transesophageal Echo

In this study, an expert physician inserts a thin, flexible transducer into your esophagus to get a close look at your heart valves and chambers without interference from your ribs and lungs.

Transthoracic Echo

In this noninvasive test, a technician will apply cool gel to your chest and then move the transducer across your skin to image your heart. You may be able to see the image of your heart on a nearby monitor.

Stress Echo

This noninvasive test gets images of your heart at rest and during stress. You may walk on a treadmill or peddle a stationary bike while a technician moves a transducer over your chest.