What is a transthoracic echocardiogram
A TTE is a diagnostic test where a small instrument called a transducer is moved across the chest and abdomen, it emits sound waves to give pictures of the heart.
How to prepare
There is no special preparation for the TTE
During the Transthoracic Echocardiogram
During the test you will lie on your back or left side on the bed. Some small electrodes are are taped to your arms and legs to monitor your heart rate. The technician will apply some gel to your chest to help pick up the sound waves then the transducer is moved across your chest, back and forwards as it emits sound waves. A video monitor will pick up these sound waves and produce an image of the heart.
You will be asked to lie still and on occasion take a deep breath or hold your breath.
The test usually takes 30 - 60 minutes.
Are there side effects?
There are no known side effects to a TTE. The gel may be cold on your chest though!
Your consultant will run through everything with you in complete detail beforehand but if you are still unsure then do not hesitate to keep asking.
Keeping your heart healthy involves maintaining an active lifestyle and identifying any potentially dangerous heart problems before they become more severe.