What is a transthoracic echocardiogram?

Transthoracic echocardiograms (TTE), also referred to as standard echoes, are types of echocardiograms that allow us to see your heart while it is in motion. This then gives us the opportunity to identify areas of concern and evaluate how well your heart is functioning.

How is a TTE performed?

You will lie down on a table and, once you are comfortable, one of our technicians will put gel on your chest to aid in the conduction and reception of the test. After applying the gel, the technician will move a handheld device over your chest to collect data. You may feel a vibration or slight pressure while the device is being used. To get a clearer picture of your heart, the technician may ask you to modify your breathing by taking deep breaths or holding your breath for a few seconds.

How long does a transthoracic echocardiogram take?

They normally take about 30 to 60 minutes.

What do I have to do to prepare for a TTE?

Nothing, except wear comfortable clothes that are easy for you to remove.

How safe is a TTE?

TTE tests are considered very safe and effective; no harmful effects have been shown to result from using the sound waves.

What should I expect after the test?

You will be able to drive home and return to your normal activities.