We often refer to this test as “2D echo” or simply écho’. The test provides a graphic outline of your heart movement. This is one of the most common tests carried out in the cardiology clinic.
Echo is essentially a thorough ultrasound scan of the heart. In our clinic, the scanning is carried out by an experienced female cardiac physiologist in a private room with changing facilities. The images will be reviewed immediately by the senior consultant.
The ultrasound scan looks at the structure of the heart such as valves, muscles and detect any movement abnormalities of our pumping heart.
This test is as safe as it can be. It does not involve any form of radiation exposure. Remember we use ultrasound to scan pregnant lady to look at her baby all the time!
Echo allow us to quantify the strength of our heart, measure the dimension of all 4 chambers and detect any structural problems such as hole in the heart or malfunctioning valves.
It is often carried out in people with chest pain, breathlessness, hypertension, heart murmurs and abnormal ECG or chest X- ray. Patients with valves problem, previous heart surgery or previous heart attack will require regular echo test to survey disease progression. This is an invaluable test giving a lot of information for almost all types of heart problems.
- Do I need to fast for the test?
- No, you can eat or drink as per normal before the test.
- How long would it take to do an echocardiogram?
- The test takes just over half an hour.
- Is it quite uncomfortable?
- We will provide you with a clean, loose-fitting pyjama top to change into. You will be lying on your left side most of the time during the test. The cardiac physiologist will apply ultrasound jelly over your chest and place the handheld ultrasound probe against your chest to acquire the images. You will often be asked to assist us in getting the best view of your heart by holding your breath briefly.