An echocardiogram or echo as it is sometimes referred to, is an ultrasound examination of a patients heart. The echocardiogram examines the internal structures of the heart and allows the reporting cardiologist to analyse heart size, anatomical structures (including heart valves, heart chambers and roots of major arteries) and heart function.
The test takes up to 1 hour to perform.
There is no preparation required for this testing procedure.
You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and lie down on a bed (gowns are provided for female patients). The echocardiogram involves placing a handheld ultrasound transducer with some cold transmission gel on your chest and taking ultrasound pictures. The transducer will be placed in different positions on your chest, taking multiple pictures from several different angles. During the examination, you will hear sounds from the machine which represent blood flow through your heart. The echocardiogram will be performed by a specialised cardiac sonographer, who will take the images for the cardiologist, The sonographer will not be able to discuss your results with you during the test.
The echocardiogram images are reviewed by a cardiologist and the results will be promptly forwarded to your referring doctor, within two working days. Your referring doctor will then discuss your results with you at your review appointment.
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