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Echocardiogram

Echocardiogram

Everyone who has had a heart attack should have an echocardiogram (echo).  During this test, a flat metal disk is rubbed over your chest and a moving picture of your heart comes up on a TV screen.  It is the same kind of scan that pregnant mothers get to see the baby before it is born.  The echocardiogram shows the doctor how much damage has been caused to the heart muscle by the heart attack.

Stress Echocardiogram (Stress Echo)

Occasionally a echocardiogram is done while you are exercising on a treadmill. If you find it difficult to exercise on a treadmill then you may be given a drug which increases the blood flow to your heart. Like the echocardiogram, a picture of your heart will come up on a TV screen and shows the doctor how the heart is contracting during "stress" (when the heart is beating faster).