Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram uses sound waves to build up a picture of your heart.
The Echocardiogram (more commonly known as an ECHO) is an ultrasound test.  Ultrasound uses high frequency sounds (not audible to humans) that can be emitted and detected by the echo machine.
The test provides important information and imaging of the heart muscle.  It can show circulation, structures and chambers.
 
What to expect during the test?
Your test will becarried out by a cardiac technician, qualified to do echocardiograms.
 
Please wear two pieced clothing as you will be required to lie on a couch undressed to the waist.  The technician will offer you a gown and blanket for comfort and dignity.
 
The machine uses a probe to send and receive the ultrasound frequencies.  This is handled by the technician who moves the probe across the chest close to the hearts’ location.  A small amount of jelly will be applied to the chest and probe to conduct the ultrasound frequencies from the heart to the probe and machine.
 
The machine generates images and by moving the probe the heart can be looked at in different angles.
 
The test will last approximately 20 minutes.  Following the test the technician will remove the jelly from your skin and you will be able to re dress.  There are no side effects from the test and the jelly is hypoallergenic (consisting of mostly water). 
The technician will not diagnose any problems if there are any abnormalities.  Assessment of the test requires a specialists’ view which will be done by a Consultant Cardiologist.  Please request a copy of your echo report if required and let us know if we need to send the report to your GP or other specialist.