It is a non-invasive and very safe way of assessing your heart muscle structure and function, heart valve structure and function and aortic structure. It also measures the internal heart pressures in a painless manner. The ultrasound images are acquired by an experienced cardiac echocardiographer who has worked with Dr Nasis for over 5 years. No specific preparation and no fasting are required for this test.
Transthoracic echocardiography provides an estimate of the amount of blood pumped out of the left ventricle with each heartbeat. Cardiologists also use it to evaluate heart size and heart valve function. The test can help in identifying the areas of poor blood flow in the heart and areas of heart muscle that are poorly contracting. The test can also be useful in detecting evidence of congestive heart failure, as well as any previous injuries to the heart muscle caused by impaired blood flow.
During this test, you will initially lie on your left side and then flat on your back.
A transducer (external ultrasound probe) will be placed directly upon your chest and a water-based gel will be applied to your skin to optimise conduction of the sound waves from your heart to the recording probe.
Three small sticky electrodes are placed on your shoulders to also record your electrical rhythm during the test, which allows the images to be captured appropriately.
An echocardiogram generally takes 45 minutes to perform. Upon completion, the images are reviewed and analysed by Dr Nasis and a report is sent to your referring doctor.