Echocardiogram (Echo)

What Is An Echo?

  • An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of your heart, which specifically assesses your heart’s size, structure and function.

 

How Is An Echo Performed?

  • An echo is performed by a qualified echocardiographic sonographer. The test requires all top clothing to be removed so that the patient has a bare chest.
  • For the ladies, please wear pants or a skirt with a top to the test, rather than a dress.
  • ECG stickers are placed on your shoulders and hip. An ultrasound probe (with a water based gel) will be placed in several positions on your chest to obtain the images.
  • The test does not usually cause discomfort. If you have any queries or concerns during the test please let the sonographer know.

 

What To Expect

  • An echo is a non-invasive procedure. The test will last for 30-45minutes. You will be required to lie on your left side for the most of the test. Please notify the sonographer if you cannot do this.
  • During the test you will hear some noises made by the machine. This is normal. You may be asked to take a deep breath in or out and hold momentarily.
  • The test does not involve any injections or sedation. It will not affect your ability to drive or engage in other normal day to day activities.

 

Results

  • A cardiologist will report your test. If you have been referred by your GP for an echocardiogram without the request for a review, the results will be sent directly back to the referring physician within 3 – 4 days. If one of the cardiologists has referred you for the test they will discuss the results with you at your next appointment. The sonographer is not permitted to discuss the results of the test with you.