A Stress Echocardiogram is a test done to visualize the heart muscle as it pumps, and the valves in the heart as they open and close after you have been exercising. During the test, sound waves are measured as they bounce off the structures of the heart. This is done by applying a hand-held wand (transducer) to the skin of the chest over the area of the heart. The test is painless but is does involve exercising on a treadmill or having a medication injected to increase your heart rate. It takes about 30 - 45 minutes to complete. The test is used to detect abnormal heart valve function and poor pumping function of the heart that may be present after exercise, but not noted at rest.