Need a scan of your Heart?

Book your appointment with Consultant Cardiologist Dr Gill

A private echocardiogram makes use of sound waves to develop an accurate and advanced image of the heart. It uses both 2D and 3D images in order to produce sonograms of the heart. Due to the non-invasive and harmless nature of the procedure, it is now a commonly used private heart test to develop accurate images of the heart.

A private echocardiogram possesses many benefits that the more popular radiography doesn’t. Primarily the biggest risk from radiography comes from the patient being exposed to harmful radiation, increasing the risk of cancer in the later stages of life.

Private Echocardiogram diagram

Why use a private echocardiogram?

A standard private echocardiogram can be used to detect and diagnose a lot of problems and anomalies in the heart. However, their general purposes are to:

  1. Detect and identify any abnormal functioning of the heart valves or any irregular heart rhythm. The results from this can be further used to diagnose the common heart problems or diseases.
  2. Detect any damage to the heart after physical trauma to the patient or after episodes of heart attack.
  3. Detect any infections or inflammations in and around the heart.
  4. Make sure that the heart can function normally and pump blood to all parts of the body. This is specially used in the case of patients with heart failure.

It is important to consult with your private cardiologist in order to know more about whether you really need a private echocardiogram and to find out how the test results can benefit your diagnosis. As they can be quite expensive to perform, you can even consider taking second opinions from other doctors in order to make a well informed decision.

General procedure and protocols of an echocardiogram

There are no special precautions that have to be taken by the patient before undergoing the procedure. However, during the scan, the patient has to remove all items of clothing from the waist upwards and lie down on a specially designed bed facing upwards. After electrodes are attached to the skin to monitor the heart rate, a gel is applied to the chest of the patient. A transducer is then moved across the chest in order to create the corresponding image on the system. Advanced echo-cardiography can also be used to monitor the blood flow inside the heart.

The transducer produces high frequency sound waves directed at the heart through the chest. Similarly, at the other end, a device catches the sound waves and converts them into electrical impulses which can be interpreted by an electrocardiogram. The procedure has to be performed by a trained sonographer. However, the results can be interpreted by a private heart specialist.

The risks associated with an echocardiogram

As it is a non-invasive procedure, it has minimal risks associated with it. Due to the electrodes attached to the surface of the skin, the patient may develop slight rashes or bruises from the adhesives used to hold the electrodes in place. However, as the pros of the procedure are significantly greater, it is used extensively all over the world. To find out more about booking a private echocardiogram why not contact consultant cardiologist Dr Gill.