Test / Diagnostic Procedure: Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram (also known as a transthoracic echo, or TTE) is an ultrasound scan of the heart and nearby blood vessels to assess their structure and function.

Bookings: bookings.hearthealth@onewelbeck.com

Tel: 020 3653 2005

What is an Echocardiogram (TTE)?

An echocardiogram is a scan that shows a detailed view of the structures of your heart to see how well your heart is working. A probe is used to send out sound waves to the heart, which are reflected by the muscles and tissues in your heart.


Why might I need an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram is an ideal diagnostic test for anyone who wishes to have a general heart check. Additionally, if you have a family history of heart disease, if you have risk factors for cardiac disease, or cardiac symptoms such as chest pain or palpitations, we recommend you get an echocardiogram to ascertain the cause. The test is useful for diagnosing enlarged left or right sides of the heart, problems with the heart valves and to investigate the causes of heart murmurs or heart attacks.


What does a typical echocardiogram appointment involve?

This type of test is painless and usually takes 30-45 minutes. You’ll be offered a chaperone, asked to removed clothing covering the upper half and given a gown open at the front. You’ll be asked to lie on the couch. Three small stickers will be attached to your chest to monitor your heart rate and rhythm during the test. You usually will be asked to lie on the left side. This is to improve the image quality of the echocardiogram. Images will be taken by placing the ultrasound gel and probe on your chest. Your physiologist will move the probe around your chest to give different views of your heart. You may hear sounds as Doppler signals are used to assess the flow of blood.


What are the benefits of having an echocardiogram?

An echocardiogram can detect:

  • Damaged heart muscle from a previous heart attack
  • A heart that is not pumping blood well
  • An enlarged heart
  • An enlarged aorta
  • Valve abnormalities
  • Valve infections
  • Holes in the heart

Other types of echocardiogram

There are two other variations of echocardiogram available at OneWelbeck Heart Health:

Stress echocardiogram

A stress echocardiogram carried out during exercise or after being given and injection of medication which makes the work harder. It is used to detect coronary artery disease and can show if there is narrowing of the blood vessels supplying the heart.

Bubble echocardiogram or bubble study

A bubble echocardiogram is carried out to detect holes between the top chambers of the heart, such as PFO.  An echocardiogram is performed whilst a small amount of saline is injected into the bloodstream through a cannula in the arm. The saline and blood are mixed to create microbubbles which can be seen to enter the right size of the heart; if they pass to the left side a hole in the heart is confirmed.


Overview

Image

Health Insurance

This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.

Image

Doctor Referral Only

You will generally need to get a referral letter from your NHS GP, Private GP, or other doctor to access this service or treatment. Find out more including how we can assist you

Image

Self-Pay Available

This treatment is available for self-paying users. If you would like to see more information on pricing visit our pricing and payments page.

Image

Fixed Price Package

For peace of mind, this service or treatment is available for an all-inclusive fixed price package.

Image

Same Day Availability

We usually have same-day appointments available for this service. Please call us to book.

Specialists

The consultants at OneWelbeck Heart Health have been assembled based on their hard-earned international reputations and expertise. Together, they cover the major London teaching hospitals and leading cardiac services, making up the largest independent cardiology group in the UK.