Echocardiogram (Echo)

Our Services

Our specialist cardiac physiologists can perform an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function, using the latest scanning technology. A detailed ‘echo’ report summarises all of the findings.

Echocardiogram (Echo)

Echocardiogram (Echo)

Echocardiogram (Echo)

What is an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram, or ‘echo’, is an ultrasound scan of the heart. It is very similar to an antenatal scan, where there is some cold gel on your chest, and our echocardiographer will move a probe around to take some pictures and videos of your heart. It takes around 20 minutes. From the images and measurements taken, we can make an assessment of the structure and function of your heart.

Why might I need an echocardiogram?

  • You may be breathless, or have a build-up of fluid
  • To help assess how well your heart is pumping (function)
  • To help assess the cause of a heart murmur
  • To help assess how well the valves in your heart are working
  • You may have an irregular heart rhythm, such as atrial fibrillation (AF)
  • To help assess the size of the chambers, or muscle thickness in your heart
  • You may have a family history of cardiac conditions
  • As part of a medical certification
  • For athletes as part of a full cardiac assessment
  • General peace-of-mind

What should I expect for my appointment?

If you have been referred to us for an echocardiogram (ultrasound scan of your heart) then you will receive a letter from us within a few days inviting, you to attend an appointment at one of our clinics. We do our best to choose the location closest to you within an appropriate timeframe – unfortunately there are certain restrictions on where we can see you depending on who has made the referral.

When you arrive, your echocardiographer will call you through and you will need to undress your top-half of clothing. The scan involves some cold gel on your chest, and then we will take some photos, videos and measurements of your heart using a probe, over the course of around 20 minutes. Afterwards, you are free to get dressed and leave, and we will write up a report that summarises our assessment.

What happens with my results?

Your results are 100% peer reviewed, meaning that another experienced echocardiographer will check the images and report to make sure that they agree with the findings. The results are then sent back to the clinician who referred you the next working day. It usually takes a few weeks for the referring doctor to review the results, and the next steps in your care are managed by them. We only provide the test and don’t have any part in the onward management of your care. If you are wishing to find out your results, you will need to speak with the doctor who referred you.

If you are seeing us as a private patient then we will provide you directly with a copy of your echocardiogram report, as well as any doctors that you would like us to send it to. The standard echocardiogram with report does contain a lot of clinical terminology and is written with the intention that a doctor will be reviewing the results. Our consultant cardiologist is able to offer a review service where he will add his own summarising comments onto the report, including any recommendations for further testing, however we do advise that you take this back to your GP/Dr so consideration can be given to your wider medical history and care management.

Whilst the heart scans we provide are a great diagnostic test for many cardiac conditions, it may be that we would recommend different testing elsewhere if you were investigating certain specific conditions. For example, an echocardiogram can’t rule out coronary artery disease, however is very useful for:

  • Heart Failure
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Valve Disease (such as Aortic Stenosis)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Endocarditis
  • Cardiac causes of a Stroke, or TIA
  • Subsequent damage following a Heart Attack

Contact Us

If you have a question or query regarding the cardiac scans or our locations, please get in touch.

Ultracardiac | Echocardiography Services Southwest