Transthoracic Echocardiogram (Echo)

What is an Echo?

An Echo is a specialised ultrasound examination of the heart. It is a very safe non-invasive procedure and does not involve radiation.

This procedure gives us detailed information about the size, function and structure of your left and right heart and heart valves.

What do I need to do to prepare for my test?

No special preparation is required for an Echo. Food, water and medication can be taken as per your usual routine. However, in order to perform the test, clothing from the waist up needs to be removed to gain access to the chest. A hospital gown is then worn for the test.

 

What happens during the test?

Once changed, you will be asked to lie down on the examination bed. A sonographer will take your blood pressure and then place electrodes on your chest to monitor your heart rate during the echo. You will be positioned on your left side (if possible) for most of the examination time. A small transducer, with some ultrasound gel, will be used to image the heart from various positions on the chest. Various computer-generated noises may be heard during the echo, however these noises are completely normal and are used to assess blood flow through your heart. You may also be asked to hold your breath for a short period of time.

 

How long does the test take?

Allow approximately 1 hour for your Echo appointment.

Is there a Medicare Rebate?

Yes

When will I know the results?

Your report will be sent directly to your referring doctor, usually within 24 hours. You do not need to wait for the report or any films, videos or CD’s.