What is an Echocardiogram?
An Echocardiogram (also known as an echo) is an ultrasound test that uses high-frequency soundwaves to create detailed images of the heart. Echocardiograms show images in real-time motion, demonstrating the flow of blood through the major blood vessels that enter and leave the heart.
What is an Echocardiogram used to diagnose?
Echocardiograms are used to look for abnormalities of the heart muscle, valves or main blood vessels. They can also be used to diagnose an enlarged or weakened heart, and detect the cause of a heart murmur.
How long does it take?
Most Echocardiograms are completed within 60 minutes.
How should I prepare?
When you book your appointment, we’ll discuss any preparation needed for your particular procedure.
Please bring any previous ultrasound or X-ray images that are relevant to your examination. Your radiologist may use these for comparison.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment so that any paperwork can be completed.
What can I expect during an Echocardiogram?
Before the scan begins, you’ll be asked to leave items like phones, jewellery, coins, keys, belts and credit cards outside the examination room. In most cases, you’ll be asked to remove any clothing from the waist up. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown for the test.
A sonographer will apply a water-based gel to your chest and move a handheld transducer across your skin to capture live images. The gel helps the soundwaves travel to and from the transducer, and ensures that it moves comfortably over your skin. You may be asked to move into different positions or to hold your breath at certain times to get the best images. Once the exam is complete, the gel will be wiped clean from your skin.
What will it cost?
A Medicare rebate may apply for these examinations. If there’s an out-of-pocket expense, we’ll let you know when you book your appointment.
When will I get the results?
We will prepare a report for your doctor or health practitioner and send it electronically within 24 – 48 hours. You should make an appointment with your referring doctor to receive and talk about your test results.
What are the risks of an Echocardiogram?
Echocardiograms are non-invasive, painless and considered very safe. Unlike other imaging techniques, echocardiograms don’t use radiation. You can resume your normal activities immediately after the exam.
- Follow preparations advised at the time of booking appointment.
- Quoted fees payable at the completion of your appointment.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
For more details on what to bring, payment & results click below:
Where can I have an Echocardiogram?
QDI performs echocardiograms at a number of clinics: