The echocardiogram is an ultrasound test of the heart.

WHAT DOES AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM SHOW?

The sound waves allow us to visualise the heart muscle by taking pictures of the heart which can assess different images of the pumping heart.

The echocardiogram also checks if there is a leakage or a narrowing of the heart valves. Therefore, it is a way to assess the blood vessels and the heart structure and understand whether there have been any blocked arteries which have caused one of the walls of the heart not to move.

The results of the echocardiogram are immediate, and we also connect an ECG. Therefore, the echocardiogram measurements are very accurate.

What can an echocardiogram detect?


 

We are able to assess the size of the heart, the function of the heart, how the blood flows and how the valves open and close. An echocardiogram can detect indirectly coronary artery disease or blocked arteries. In fact, if there was a heart attack in the past, then the walls of the heart do not move appropriately. The echocardiogram also detects previous heart attacks or heart disease and it shows if there are signs of heart failure because the heart muscle does not contract or move appropriately. It can also detect pericarditis or inflammation around the heart. If you have a heart murmur on auscultation, it detects whether there is any problem of leakage in the heart. The echocardiogram can also detect cardiomyopathy, which is a disease of the heart muscle which could be dilated or could be hypertrophic, which means that it is thicker.


How long does an echocardiogram take?
The echocardiogram usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes. You only have to undress the waist and the chest.


How much does an echocardiogram cost?
The echocardiogram costs a variable price from £290.00 – £450.00.



WHO SHOULD HAVE AN ECHOCARDIOGRAM?

Everyone who has difficulty in breathing, chest pain or an irregular heartbeat should have the ultrasound scans of an echocardiogram to rule out cardiac structure abnormalities.

Everyone who has undergone chemotherapy should have an echocardiogram first as some chemotherapy can damage the heart muscle. Also, after a stroke, you should make sure that there are no clots coming from the heart or any possible atrial septal defect, which means a hole in the heart then they should have an echocardiogram with contrast or a bubble test to see if there is a passage of blood, called shunt.

An echocardiogram should be done prior to surgery to see whether the heart muscle is contracting well.

Also, if you have breathing problems, then the echocardiogram shows if there are any problems with the blood pressure, the heart muscle or in the valves.
You could also have fluid around the heart, which is called pericardial effusion, usually due to an infection or secondary to cancer or low thyroid function.


TYPES OF ECHOCARDIOGRAM


Sometimes we need a stress echocardiogram or transesophageal echocardiogram to assess better the valves or if there are clots inside the heart.
The echocardiogram can show endocarditis which is an infection in the valves and sometimes is followed by a transesophageal echocardiogram which is more accurate.

ECHOCARDIOGRAM IN LONDON

 

Usually, Dr Lo Monaco performs Echocardiograms in London at the Harley Street International Polyclinic, 104 Harley St, Marylebone, London, W1G 7JD, the first multilingual and multispeciality clinic in the UK, he co-founded.

You can have your tests, consultations and follow-up appointments usually within a day, using a wide range of top-notch medical techniques and diagnosis facilities. With his innovative Mobile Cardiology Service, Dr Francesco Lo Monaco performs Electrocardiogram in London regardless of where you are located: at your home, hotel, nursing or caring home, even in your workplace! 

You just have to book a phone or video consultation. We will take care of all the rest.