Echocardiography (often called “echo” for short) is an ultrasound that takes moving pictures of the heart using sound waves. Echocardiography is used to look for many things: the size and shape of your heart, how well your heart chambers and valves are working, injured areas of heart muscle, blood clots in the heart and fluid buildup around it, or problems with the aorta. In this test, you’ll lie on an exam table with patches attached to your chest to record your heart’s electrical activity. Your doctor will apply gel to your chest and move a wand around on your chest to produce pictures of your heart on a nearby screen. Some kinds of echocardiography will require your doctor to inject a special substance into one of your veins through your arm or hand. The test is painless and can take up to an hour to finish. Some doctors will walk you through what they’re seeing, while others may choose to provide results after the test is over.