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Echocardiogram

An ultrasound scan of the heart

‚ÄčAlso known as an 'echo', this specialised cardiac scan is used to examine the structure and function of the heart

About an echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a scan to see if your heart and valves are working correctly. The moving image created by an ultrasound allows your consultant to check for potential damage caused by a heart attack or for other conditions that can affect heart function, including holes in the heart.

Need to know

  • What happens during an echocardiogram? icon plus

    The most common type of echocardiogram works in a similar way to an ultrasound during pregnancy. You'll be asked to lie on your left side during the scan. Your specialist will apply a gel to your chest and place an ultrasound probe on the areas of your chest above where your heart is.

    Sound waves from the probe bounce off the structures of your heart to produce a moving image. If your consultant suspects you have a hole in your heart, they may inject a small amount of sterile water mixed with air into a vein in your arm to help visualise any holes. The whole procedure takes between 15 minutes and 30 minutes.
  • How to prepare for an echo icon plus

    Your consultant or physiologist will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. Usually there isn't any special preparation needed for an echocardiogram.
  • After your scan icon plus

    The scan itself shouldn't be painful, and you'll be able to go home right after your appointment. Once your consultant has analysed the results of your scan, they'll discuss them with you. They'll also let you know about any next steps, including further tests if needed.
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Our cardiologists

Each cardiac department supports our consultants who specialise in echocardiograms. Your echo will be completed then your results reported by your cardiologist, who will talk you through the results and explain the next steps. 

Our locations

From straightforward diagnostic procedures to day case and inpatient treatment, we provide exceptional cardiac care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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