An echocardiogram is a test using ultrasound waves to create images of the heart.
Why do i need an Echo scan ?
An echo scan is able to examine the structure and the function of the heart muscle and the heart valves. It is often used after a heart attack or to look for a cause of shortness of breath.
Some people undergo an echo scan to ensure the heart muscle is normal, for example in high performing athletes.
Some people undergo scans at regular intervals to monitor heart valve problems or problems with heart muscle.
Some people undergo an echo scan to ensure there are no heart problems before having an operation.
What happens when I have an Echo scan ?
You will be asked to remove the top half of your clothing and will be offered a hospital gown. You will relax on an examination couch and ultrasound jelly is placed on your chest wall. The ultrasound probe is moved across the surface of your skin to create the images of the heart. It is not painful, but the probe needs to maintain pressure on the skin surface to obtain the images which may be uncomfortable.
How long does it take ?
An echo scan usually takes between 15 and 45 minutes.
Where can i find more information about an Echo scan ?
The British Heart Foundation website contains more information including videos here.
How can i arrange to have an Echo scan performed ?
Simply contact us and we will make the arrangements at a time and place that suits you.