Whitstable Medical Practice offers an Echocardiogram Service which is accessible to any patient registered within East Kent aged 16+
Once you have been referred and given the referral paperwork by your GP, you can contact us to book in with one of our specialist Cardiac Physiologists.
What is an Echocardiogram?
You may be referred for an echocardiogram by your GP due to symptoms such as heart murmurs, shortness of breath, heart failure, follow up from previous heart surgery, assessment for suitability for surgery, ECG abnormalities, high blood pressure and palpitations.
An echocardiogram (Echo) is a scanning test that uses harmless sound waves (very similar to the scans used to examine babies before birth), that help your doctor to see how well your heart muscle and valves are working. It also gives a good idea about the size of your heart and many other potentially important abnormalities. The images are taken from several angles and a computer changes the sound waves into images that are viewed on a screen.
To prepare for your appointment, wear a comfortable two piece outfit. Do not smoke for at least two hours before the test. You can eat and drink normally before and after the test. Continue to take your medication as usual.
After you arrive for your echo, we will ask you to remove the top half of your clothing and lay bare chested on a couch, ladies will need to remove their bra. The room will be dark. Small pads (electrodes) are placed on your chest to monitor your heart beat. The cardiac physiologists move the device (transducer) coated with cool gel firmly over your chest. There are sometimes tender spots on your chest, but any discomfort is not coming from your heart. At times you may be asked to exhale and hold your breath for a few seconds as air in your lungs can affect the images. The procedure normally takes approximately 20 minutes and is completely painless.
A detailed report of your echo scan will be forwarded to your GP within days of having the test. Your GP is the person to discuss the findings with you in more detail.
If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, or if you have any queries following an appointment, please contact our Clinical Services Patient Coordinators on 01227 284314 or 01227 284315 (Monday-Friday 8am-5pm).
Whilst you are under the care of the Echo clinic, please ensure that you inform us of any change to your address or telephone number.
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