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The Procedure


Echocardiography is an ultrasound examination of the heart. It is readily available, takes 20 to 30 minutes to perform and involves no exposure to radiation. At the Pinnacle Health Sciences Centre, echocardiography is available with a wait time that is generally less than 1 week and where you can count on getting the study done with a highly trained technologist using the latest equipment.

Echocardiography may be ordered by your doctor for any one of a number of reasons. These include:

  1. Newly discovered murmur by your physician

  2. Known or suspected narrowing (stenosis) of the heart valves, such as aortic or mitral stenosis

  3. Known or suspected leakiness (insufficiency/regurgitation) of the heart valves

  4. Follow up after surgery to replace or repair a heart valve (prosthetic valve assessment)

  5. Ischemic heart disease to assess the degree to which heart muscle may have been damaged by a previous myocardial infarction (heart attack)

  6. High blood pressure (hypertension) to look for signs of abnormal stress to the heart such as thickening of the wall

  7. Abnormality suspected at the time of routine ECG

  8. Looking for a cause for suspected or proven stroke (emboli or shunts)

  9. Unexplained loss of consciousness (syncope)

  10. Irregular heartbeat and palpitations

(Source: British Society of Echocardiography)

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