Treatment that delivers better results
What is echocardiology?
An echocardiogram or ‘echo’ is a scan that uses sound waves (ultrasound) to produce pictures of your heart. It’s a completely painless test that doesn’t have any side effects and doesn’t use radioactivity. An echocardiogram tells us how well your heart is pumping and whether your heart valves are working properly, but it doesn’t indicate whether or not you have angina.
Preparing for a test
You can take all your medications as usual and eat and drink as normal. If you would like to bring a chaperone with you, you’re welcome to bring a friend or relative. Alternatively, we can provide a chaperone for you upon your request.
At the appointment
The test will be performed by a Cardiac Physiologist, who may be male or female. A Cardiac Physiologist is a qualified specialist who operates ultrasound equipment and not a doctor.
You will be asked to undress to the waist, but you’ll be covered up appropriately. You’ll need to lie on the couch on your left-hand side. We’ll attach stickers to your chest, which will be connected to the machine, and these will monitor your heart rate during the test.
The lights in the room will be dimmed to make it easier for the specialist to see the images of your heart. An ultrasound probe covered by a small amount of gel is placed gently on the centre of your chest and will be moved to different positions throughout the test – beneath the left breast, beneath the rib cage and to the base of your neck. This enables us to see images of your heart from a number of different angles, which are then recorded.
During the echocardiogram
You will hear sounds coming from the machine, which represent blood flow through the heart. The echocardiogram will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Once the echocardiogram is complete you can get dressed and leave. There aren’t any limitations as to what you can do after the scan so you can carry on as normal. You can drive to and from your appointment.
Your results will be sent to the doctor who requested the test, which normally will be your GP. We advise you to contact the surgery 7 days after your examination.
Patient information booklet
For further information please download our booklet using the button below.
How to access our services
Healthshare Diagnostics does not accept self-referrals from NHS patients, you must be referred by your GP or a medical professional.
Details for your GP can be found here.
If you are a private patient you can refer yourself by calling 0330 127 3229