Why have an Echocardiogram (Cardiac Ultrasound)?
An echocardiogram uses sound waves to show inside the heart as it is beating. This enables your doctor to evaluate the heart valves, the strength and thickness of your heart muscle, and the size of the chambers in your heart. You may have been referred for this test for a murmur, chest pain, and shortness of breath or as part of a health check. Other rare abnormalities can also be assessed.
There is no special preparation for this test.
Who does the test?
A Sonographer (Technologist trained specifically in echocardiography ultrasound) will perform your examination. A Cardiologist will review the ultrasound images and report on your echocardiogram.
You will need to remove clothing above the waist, changing into a cotton gown and lie on your side or your back on the ultrasound bed. The Sonographer will attach sticky ECG patches on your chest, to also record your heart rhythm, and then put warm ultrasound gel on your chest.
The Sonographer will gently move a transducer probe over the heart area and take images of the structure and function of your heart. Measurements will be made of the size of your heart and the blood flow through the heart.
This echocardiogram will be painless, but you will hear the sound of the blood flow (whooshing sound) through the heart during the examination.
When the test is completed, the Sonographer will give you a towel to wipe the gel off your chest area.
An echocardiogram takes 45 minutes. There are no side effects or health risks from this examination.
For an appointment please ring Waikato Heart on 07 957 6086 or Hamilton Radiology on 0800 426 723.
For further information see Waikato Heart or phone 07 957 6086.