This is a simple office test that uses ultrasound to image the heart (image is formed by bouncing sound waves off the heart). It is painless and entirely non-invasive. This test provides a detailed analysis of the structure and function of the heart. The information provided includes: size and thickness of the walls of the heart, the strength of the heart muscle as a pump (extremely important after a heart attack), congenital anomalies of the heart, detailed assessment of the heart valves for narrowing or leakage and presence of tumors or clots. It allows initial assessment and follow-up of prosthetic heart valves. In essence an echocardiogram provides vital information that is necessary in most patients with known heart disease or patients with symptoms that suggest it.