Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)

A heart scan using soundwaves

If you experience heart problems, a transthoracic echocardiogram can help our cardiology experts diagnose your condition

What is a transthoracic echocardiogram?

A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is an ultrasound technique, using sound wave reflections to visualise the structure and function of your heart chambers and valves.

It’s a commonly used investigation by a cardiologist to investigate murmurs (sounds heard through a stethoscope by blood moving within the heart), shortness of breath and damage to the heart muscle by blood pressure or other diseases.

Need to know

  • What happens during a transthoracic echocardiogram? icon plus

    Your consultant will take you through the following stages for your TTE. You will firstly be asked to remove clothing from the upper half of your body and will be offered a gown. Small sticky sensors (electrodes) connected to an ultrasound machine will be attached to your chest. These monitor your heart rhythm during the scan.

    You will then be asked to lie on your left hand side with your left arm above your head. This positioning allows for better images to be acquired. Ultrasound gel and a small hand held probe (transducer) is then applied to your chest to take pictures of your heart. The images from the scan will be instantly displayed on the ultrasound screen. After your scan, the sticky sensors will be removed. The procedure should take no more than one hour.
  • How to prepare for your scan icon plus

    No specific preparation is required for the scan.
  • After your scan icon plus

    You should be able to go home shortly after your test. Dependent on the results of the TTE, your consultant will advise you on the next steps with regard to follow-up appointments.

Our cardiac teams

We have a cardiac unit at each of our main hospitals who support smaller cardiac teams at our outpatient centres.

The teams are made up of cardiac nurses and physiologists who will talk you through your scan and answer any questions you may have.

Transthoracic echocardiagram locations in London

From complex cardiothoracic surgery to tests and diagnostic procedures, we provide exceptional cardiac care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Private transthoracic echocardiogram in Birmingham

Request a cardiac appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced cardiologists. You can contact us by telephone or email.


020 7079 4344
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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