An echocardiogram allows your doctor to examine the structure of your heart such as your heart walls, chambers and arteries in order to see how it functions.
At The London Clinic, our highly trained team of cardiologists and technicians perform echocardiograms to diagnose problems with your heart.
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend that you have an echocardiogram:
- If your doctor suspects there is a problem with your heart structure that is affecting its ability to pump.
- To look for damage in your heart valves, chambers or arteries.
- To check for heart defects in your new-born or unborn baby.
- If you’ve had a heart attack or heart failure, and your doctor wants to check how your heart has recovered.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis
An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound examination where sound waves are used to produce a moving image of your heart.
An echocardiogram can be performed both as an outpatient procedure, or if you’re already in hospital for another procedure such as heart surgery.
The test won’t hurt and you will just feel the gentle pressure of an ultrasound probe on the chest wall. It takes around 40 minutes to do a detailed ultrasound study of the structure of the heart.
To begin, your doctor will apply a clear gel to the skin on your chest. He will then run an ultrasound probe over your chest, which produces high frequency sound waves.
These sound waves will pass into your body and bounce off the surface of your heart and back into the probe.
These waves are then compiled into a moving image of your heart which is projected onto a computer screen.
If your doctor finds no problem with your heart from the echocardiogram, you won’t need any further tests. If he or she finds a problem during the test, they may refer you to a heart specialist for more tests.
You may need to have another echocardiogram in a few months, or other CT tests to properly diagnose a heart condition.
Besides the standard test described above, there are also several other types of echocardiogram:
- Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE): this test produces images of your heart from a probe inside your oesophagus, which means that your lungs and ribcage don’t obstruct the image.
- For this procedure, you may be given a local anaesthetic and then be asked to swallow a small probe attached to a flexible tube. This test is done as a day case so you can have your investigation and then go home the same day.
- A stress echocardiogram: this is carried out when your heart is under stress, such as when you’ve been exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike. If you can’t exercise, you may be given medicine to stimulate stress on your heart. This test can help to diagnose coronary heart disease.
- Doppler echocardiogram: this test measures how fast the blood flows through your heart and how well your heart valves are functioning. This is done by measuring the change in pitch when the sound waves bounce off the blood moving through your heart and blood vessels.