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An echocardiogram, also known as an "echo," is a painless imaging scan that provides a detailed view of your heart and its surrounding blood vessels. It allows for an examination of the structure and functioning of your heart.

Using high-frequency sound waves, an echocardiogram utilizes ultrasound technology. A small probe emits these soundwaves, which create echoes as they bounce off different parts of your body. The probe detects these echoes and converts them into a moving image displayed on a monitor during the scan.

It's important to note that an echocardiogram is distinct from an electrocardiogram (ECG). While an ECG monitors your heart's rhythm and electrical activity using electrodes, an echocardiogram focuses on assessing the structure and functioning of your heart through ultrasound imaging.

There are several types of echocardiograms, each serving different purposes and approaches. Let's explore the most common ones:

Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)
: This is the standard echocardiogram that involves placing a small device called a transducer on your chest. It captures images of your heart through the chest wall, allowing healthcare providers to assess its structure and function.

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE)
: For a more detailed view, a specialized transducer is gently inserted into your oesophagus. This procedure provides clearer images of the heart structures from a closer perspective.

Stress Echocardiogram:
This type of echocardiogram evaluates your heart's response to physical exercise or medications that mimic its effects. It helps healthcare providers assess how your heart performs under stress and can reveal any abnormalities that may not be apparent at rest.

Three-Dimensional Echocardiogram (3D Echo): Using advanced technology, this technique creates a comprehensive three-dimensional image of your heart. It provides a more detailed view of its structure and function, assisting healthcare providers in their assessment.

Doppler Echocardiogram: By utilising Doppler technology, this type of echocardiogram assesses blood flow patterns and velocity within your heart and blood vessels. It provides valuable information about the direction and speed of blood flow, aiding in the diagnosis of conditions such as valve abnormalities or regurgitation.

Contrast Echocardiogram: In certain cases, contrast agents like microbubbles may be injected into your bloodstream to enhance the visibility of specific heart structures or to assess blood flow patterns more accurately.

Treatment Overview

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  • Average procedure duration 20 minutes

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

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