Medical Center MEDICA 2005

Affiliates Sofia, Vidin and
MC Academica 2008 - Pleven
Medica 2005 Medical Center
Home Activites Echocardiogram



An Echocardiogram is a painless and safe ultrasound scan that helps evaluate your heart’s structure and function. It produces clear images of your heart’s chambers, valves, and blood vessels.

What does an echocardiogram show?

An echo looks at the structures of your heart such as your heart valves. It also looks at how the blood flows through the main arteries and veins of the heart and gives information on how well your heart is pumping.

An echo is often done to diagnose and assess the following conditions:

  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • heart valve problems
  • congenital heart disease
  • inherited heart conditions
  • heart rhythm problems

What happens when you have an echocardiogram?

You will be given a hospital gown to wear as you will need to remove all clothing from your top half when the echo is done. Your privacy will be maintained as you will be behind curtains or in a hospital clinic room in the outpatient department.

With a standard echo, sometimes called a transthoracic echo or TTE, you’ll be asked to lie on a couch or bed. A gel used especially for scanning will be used to help the sound waves reach your heart. It feels cold and sticky but is otherwise harmless.

The healthcare professional (called a sonographer) doing the procedure will move the probe in different areas of your chest around your heart. The probe gives off pulses of high frequency sound waves which pass through your skin to your heart. This may sound like a "swishing" noise as the ultrasound waves "echo" against the structures of your heart, as well as the sound of the blood flow through the chambers of the heart. The probe picks up these reflections and shows them as images on a screen.

Different parts of the heart are seen as the probe is moved around on your chest.

How long will an echocardiogram take?

It varies from person to person and can take from 15 minutes up to an hour. It’s a very common, safe test, and most people find it’s not uncomfortable, although you may feel a bit of pressure as the technician presses the probe onto your chest to obtain the best images. Electrodes (small sticky dots) will normally be attached to your chest to monitor your heart rate and rhythm during the test.

In some cases the results of the scan maybe discussed with you in a clinic appointment with your heart doctor after the scan otherwise the results will be sent to your GP. Most people go home after the scan is finished.

There are no risks or side effects from having a standard echo. Your doctor will discuss any risks or side effects if you need a different type of echo.