An echocardiogram (Eh-kow-KAA-dee-uh-gram) is a test that uses ultrasound to get a close look at how well your heart muscle and valves are working. Similar to an ultrasound used in pregnancy, it’s extremely safe and non-invasive.
PATIENT INFORMATION: Before your appointment, please read our patient information page with essential information on our location, parking, payment options and more.
How long does it take?
The test will take approximately 45 minutes.
Why do I need an echocardiogram?
Your doctor may have sent you for an echocardiogram if you have shown signs and symptoms of heart problems, such as:
- Heart murmurs
- Heart failure
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Congenital heart defects (e.g. a hole in the heart)
Risks and complications
There are no risks or complications with an echocardiogram. An echo is a safe, non-invasive procedure.
Do I need to prepare for my echocardiogram?
- Please bring your referral to the appointment
- Providing you have a regular echocardiogram, you don’t need to do anything to prepare.
What happens during my echocardiogram?
- You will take off your shirt or top, slip into a gown and lie down.
- We will attach sticky dots to your chest to monitor your heart.
- A conductive gel will be applied to the skin on your chest, then the technician will use a probe, gliding over your chest in various positions.
- You’ll be able to see images of your heart on a computer screen. These images will be recorded and given to the cardiologist to review.
What happens after?
- The cardiologist will discuss the results and further plans of action with you. He will also send the results to your GP and any other appropriate medical professionals who have your consent.
- Providing you are feeling well, you can go straight back to your normal activities.