An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images of your heart. This common test allows your doctor to see how your heart is beating and pumping blood. Your doctor can use the images from an echocardiogram to identify various abnormalities in the heart muscle and valves. Depending on what information your doctor needs, you may have one of several types of echocardiograms. Each type of echocardiogram has very few risks involved.