An echocardiogram uses sound waves to create an image of the heart. The sonographer, or the person performing the test, can then see the heart moving on a screen. The test generally takes 30 to 45 minutes, is painless and non-invasive.   No preparations are necessary before an echo; you may eat or drink up to the time of the procedure.  The test is conducted in a quiet, dimly lit room. You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up (a gown is available if required).  You will lie down on a bed for the test and the sonographer will spread gel over your chest to help the sound waves penetrate to the heart.  A wand (transducer) will be moved over the chest to capture the heart movements.  The sound waves echo on the heart and produce the heart’s image.  You will need to stay still and quiet during the test to give the best reading possible; however, you may be asked to lie or breathe in a certain way.