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George Eliot Hospital - NHS Trust
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Parent specialty: Cardio Respiratory Unit (CRU)

This is a test that requires all top half clothes to be removed. A gel is applied to the chest and an ultrasound probe is used to look at the heart in a similar way to when ladies have scan of their babies. Usually takes about 20minutes.

The test is a ultrasound scan of the heart, also known as an echocardiogram. It will assist in the assessment and diagnosis of a patient.

What is an echocardiogram?
An echocardiogram is a non-invasive scan of the heart. Ultrasound waves are used to create a moving picture of the heart.

The size and shape of the heart can be seen and later measured; the valves within the heart can be seen moving. The patient will hear noises during the scan as part of the valvular and blood flow assessment; this is normal.

The scan is performed using a handheld device, very similar to that used for pregnancy scans, so the patient will not ‘go into’ the scanner, simply lie on a couch.

Preparation for the test
There is no special prepartion necessary for this procedure.

Finding the department
From the main entrance walk by the teabar and shop and then take a right at the crossroads just before you reach the XRay and pathology departments there is a lift or a set of stairs, go up to the first floor, we are on the right if you use the lift and left if you use the stairs.

The procedure
The patient will be asked to strip to the waist and lie on a couch. ECG electrodes are placed on the chest and ultrasound gel is put at various points on the chest where the scanning probe is held.

During the scan pictures are taken from various places on the chest and the patient may be asked to lie in different positions. If they have any mobility problems or problems lying down they can inform the operator as they will be by at their side throughout the procedure.

The scan can vary in length depending on how easy the pictures are to obtain. If the scan takes longer than another person’s, it is due to different machines, operators and the patient’s own anatomy.

Please allow 30 minutes for the appointment.

The results will be sent to the patient’s consultant who will check them and decide how to proceed. They will also decide whether further tests are necessary, if an appointment is needed or if a letter will suffice.

Please note that patients will not be given the results on the day of their test.

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