An echocardiogram is a non-invasive test that uses harmless sound waves to capture pictures of the heart. A hand held transducer sends and receives sound waves that are relayed to a computer and reconstructed into two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) images that create a moving picture of the heart which is viewed on a screen. This technology allows your doctor to examine the cardiac anatomy, how well your heart is functioning, the direction and ease of blood flow and the amount of pressure within the heart. Echocardiograms are usually performed in an outpatient setting and are painless. Echocardiograms of the fetus can be obtained during pregnancy and also in the operating room using transesophageal echo (TEE). An echocardiogram is used to diagnose acquired heart disease, cardiac rhythm disorders and congenital heart disease.