Echocardiography

Echocardiography, commonly referred to as an “echo”, is a type of ultrasound used to capture moving images of the heart and its valves. Like a standard ultrasound, images are taken using a series of harmless high frequency inaudible sound waves.

Overview

Echo’s are a safe, non-invasive procedure and are the most commonly used cardiac diagnostic test. Like standard ultrasounds, echo’s do not use any radiation, and instead operate by transmitting and consolidating sound waves through a hand held probe. Marina Radiology employs sophisticated imaging systems to produce high quality images cardiac monitoring and diagnoses.

Echocardiography Preparation

When attending your appointment, please bring your referral from your medical practitioner, Medicare card and any other relevant health care cards. Please also bring all films of any previous cardiac scans you have undergone. To allow adequate time to conduct the procedure, please ensure you arrive on time for your scheduled appointment.

There is no specific preparation for an echo. You can continue to eat, drink and take any medication necessary as per normal unless advised otherwise.

During The Procedure

To assist with conduction of the ultrasound waves, ultrasound gel will be applied to your chest. A hand held probe, which transmits, receives and consolidates the ultrasound waves, will then be moved over this area. During the recording, you may be asked to hold your breath, change position, or your sonographer may press the transducer more firmly against your skin. This is to help obtain the best images possible however, if it becomes uncomfortable, please let the sonographer know. Typically the scan takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes in duration.

Results

Your referring practitioner will receive a copy of your report to discuss with you.

Following your procedure, Marina strongly advises you schedule an appointment with your referring practitioner to review and discuss the findings of your scans.


Frequently Asked Questions

1Why does my doctor want me to have an echo?
Echocardiography provides a real-time view of the heart and its functioning. It is therefore highly useful in evaluating such health conditions as:
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart abnormalities
  • Heart murmurs
  • Heart failure
  • Damage caused by heart attacks
  • Blood clot source following a stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Oedema
2Can I drive after the scan?
Yes, and all normal activities can also be resumed as per usual following your scan.
3Is an echo painful?
You will not experience any pain during your echo. Ultrasounds operate purely by the transmission and collection of inaudible sound waves and thus are radiation free.
4Will the sonographer inform me if they find a problem?
You will receive all the results of your scan from your referring practitioner. The responsibility of the sonographer is to perform and produce high quality images for the radiologist to interpret.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 0 XRAYS

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