Echocardiogram

What is it?

An Echocardiogram (or “Echo”) is an ultrasound of your heart which is performed by a cardiac sonographer. This is similar to the pictures that are taken of babies in the womb. It provides essential information about the structure and function of your heart chambers, valves and related vessels. This test takes approximately 40 minutes.

Procedure

There is no specific preparation required. Comfortable, two piece clothing is desirable as you will need to undress to your waist. A gown will be provided for females, allowing access to the chest area.

The test will last approximately 40 minutes. During this time you will be required to lie on your left side. The lights will be dim to allow the sonographer to view the images more clearly.

A small probe will be placed over different areas of your chest in order to assess the heart from multiple views. A water soluble gel is used as a contact medium between the probe and your chest wall to improve image quality.

You will be able to see images of your heart on the screen and hear noises of blood flow. You will feel pressure on your chest where the sonographer is imaging. A series of standard measurements will be taken throughout the test. All images are stored digitally and reported by a cardiologist.

Results

The sonographer is unable to provide you with the results of the test. If you have a concurrent review appointment with a cardiologist you will recieive your results on that day, otherwise the test will be reported by a cardiologist and the results forwarded to your referring doctor. Please allow 5 working days before making an appointment with your doctor or notify the sonographer if you have an appointment within the next 5 days.

What to bring on the day

  • A current referral from your GP or specialist
  • Medicare card
  • Any concession or health insurance cards
  • All your current medications

Risks

There are no known adverse effects from cardiac ultrasound.

Full payment will be required on the day of the test.

If you are a patient undergoing this test and you have any further queries, please raise them with your cardiologist.

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