An echocardiogram uses safe ultrasound to create a detailed picture of your heart. It helps doctors to diagnose heart problems.

What is an Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a non-invasive test that uses high-frequency sound waves to build images of your heart’s structures. It can create pictures of your heart chambers, valves and walls as well as your blood vessels (aorta, arteries, veins) that are attached to your heart.

Echocardiogram is sometimes shortened to echo or called echocardiography or diagnostic cardiac ultrasound.

What is an echocardiogram used to diagnose?

An echocardiogram is used to diagnose and monitor heart conditions. It looks at the structure of your heart and its surrounding blood vessels, analyses how blood flows through them and assesses how well your heart functions.

Heart problems an echocardiogram can help diagnose include:

  • Heart valve problems – damaged or poorly functioning valves can affect the flow of blood through your heart. Heart valve problems include regurgitation when your blood leaks backwards through your heart valves, stenosis due to narrow heart valves, and endocarditis caused by an infection of your heart valves.
  • Heart attack damage – where the supply of blood to your heart is blocked due to the narrowing of your coronary arteries. An echocardiogram shows how much heart muscle is affected
  • Heart failure – where your heart fails to pump enough blood around your body at the right pressure.
  • Cardiomyopathy – where your heart walls become thickened or enlarged.
  • Blood clots in the heart – that could suggest a heart attack or pulmonary embolism (PE).
  • Pericarditis - inflammation of the lining around your heart causes chest pain and an accumulation of fluid around your heart.
  • Congenital heart disease – birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart.
  • Heart tissue damage – including abnormal holes between your heart chambers.
  • Enlarged heart – where your heart muscle becomes thicker and causes a heart chamber to expand. This can be due to heart muscle weakening, coronary artery disease, heart valve problems or abnormal heart rhythms.
  • Blood vessel problems – that can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack and a stroke.

How long does an echocardiogram take?

An echocardiogram can take between 15 minutes and an hour.

What is the cost of an echocardiogram

The cost of an echocardiogram will depend on the reason for your test and your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your echocardiogram following your consultation with one of our expert cardiologists. This formal quote for an echocardiogram will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. An echocardiogram is covered by most medical insurance policies as long as it is deemed medically necessary by your doctor. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your echocardiogram.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your echocardiogram test yourself. We offer interest-free finance so you pay 0% interest, no deposit and benefit from affordable monthly instalments.

Echocardiogram at Ramsay Health Care UK

At Ramsay Health Care UK, we invest in the latest technology and diagnostic equipment.

We work in partnership with experienced and skilled cardiologists who routinely perform echocardiograms. Their trained eye detects heart structure and functionality conditions and blood flow problems. Our expert cardiologists provide a reliable diagnosis and a recommended treatment if required.

Echocardiograms are available without waiting at convenient times to suit you at your local Ramsay hospital.

For peace of mind, all Ramsay hospitals follow strict infection control protocol to keep our patients and staff safe.

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