Is ultrasound safe?
Yes, diagnostic ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses low-power sound waves. There are no known risks.
Does ultrasound have limitations?
Yes, ultrasound is a valuable tool, but it has limitations. Sound waves don't travel well through air or bone, so ultrasound isn't effective at imaging body parts that have gas in them or are hidden by bone, such as the lungs or head. Ultrasound may also be unable to see objects that are located very deep in the human body. To view areas such as these, your health care provider may order other imaging tests, such as CT, MRI scans or X-rays.
Do I need to prepare for my echo?
No preparation is required before you have an echocardiogram.
Do I need to wear certain clothing?
No. However, because you have to remove your top half of clothing, it may be wise to wear a top that is easy to remove. You may be asked to remove any necklaces, so it's a good idea to leave such valuables at home as we do not accept liability for loss of valuables.
How long will an echocardiogram take?
It varies from person to person and can take from 15 minutes up to 45 minutes.
Does the test hurt?
No. The test shouldn’t hurt, however, some people experience pressure and the feeling of the probe being pushed. At times the probe has to be placed between the ribs, this may be mildly uncomfortable.
Is there an alternative test to Echocardiography?
Echo is a non-invasive test, there are alternative tests, however, these are more invasive or involve radiation exposure, they also require clinician referral.
Ambulatory Blood pressure monitoring
What is blood pressure?
Blood pressure, is a measure in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) of the force/pressure that your heart uses to pump blood around your body.
How is blood pressure measured?
When we measure blood pressure, we are looking at two figures:
systolic pressure – the pressure when your heart pushes blood out.
diastolic pressure – the pressure when your heart rests between beats.
What is classed as normal blood pressure?
ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
high blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
low blood pressure is considered to be below 90/60mmHg
High blood pressure
High blood pressure, medically known as hypertension, is often related to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being overweight and not exercising enough, however it can also run in families, and sometimes there is no obvious cause. High blood pressure is serious. If you ignore it, it can lead to heart and circulatory diseases like heart attack or stroke. It can also cause kidney failure, heart failure, problems with your sight and vascular dementia. As many as 5 million adults in the UK have undiagnosed high blood pressure, so will not know that they are at risk. High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms. The only way to know whether you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.
Low blood pressure
Low blood pressure, medically known as hypotension, is less common. Some medicines can cause low blood pressure as a side effect. It can also be caused by a number of underlying conditions, including heart failure and dehydration.
Do I have to take my own readings?
No, the device we will give you to wear takes the readings for you over a period of 24 hours. You do not have to do anything other than wear it.
How do you prepare for a 24-hour blood pressure monitor?
You wear the blood pressure device in daily life, so there's little preparation. You will not be able to shower, bathe, or immerse the device in water, while wearing it, so consider doing so ahead of time or scheduling activities after it.
What does the device involve?
An arm cuff will be fitted around your arm and attached to a monitoring device which will be attached at your waistband. The readings are taking automatically so you can carry on with your normal daily activities.
Does it hurt?
No, wearing the device should not hurt. When the cuff inflates you will feel this tighten but it is deflating while its measuring your blood pressure, so its only for a few seconds. Although night-time readings are at a much longer interval than day readings, it may wake you.
How do I fit my ambulatory blood pressure monitor?
Watch this video which explains everything you need to know. Please do contact us should you have any further queries.
Is there disabled access to the clinics?
Yes. All of our sites have suitable access for those less able-bodied. If any doubt please do contact us.
Can I bring a relative/friend with me?
Patients are welcome to bring a supporting person with them to the appointment. Due to space in the treatment room this is limited to one person. Please consider carefully who you chose to accompany you as, although your modesty will be preserved, partial undressing is required.
What if I have (or the patient has) congenital heart disease?
Patients with congenital heart disease require a specialist study, and we are not able to offer this service. The most common type of congenital heart disease is atrial and ventricular septal defects or ‘holes in the heart’ as well as genetic conditions commonly associated with congenital defects such as Down’s Syndrome, Noonan Syndrome and Turner Syndrome.
Is there car parking?
Are there any COVID-19 restrictions?
What if I need to cancel?
Cancellations must be made no later than 24 hours in advance so your appointment can be rescheduled.
What methods of payment do you accept?
Ambulatory ECG monitoring
Do I need to limit my activities while wearing my monitor?
No, the benefit of the type of devices we use is that you are free to work, exercise, shower or do any other regular daily activities.
Do I need to do anything different while I wear the device?
The only thing we recommend is that you wear loose clothing, if you feel symptoms or have an event while wearing the device, you can tap it, this will then record as an event and will help us see if your symptoms are related to your heart rhythm. Loose clothing will just make it easier for you to access the device.
What do the lights on the device mean?
Green light - When you initially turn on the device you will see green light flash, once the device starts to record the green lights go out and stay off for the duration of your test where the device will automatically turn off.
Blue light – You will see a blue light flash if you have recorded an event on the device.
Red light – If you see a red light you may have accidentally switched the device off, simply turn the device on by holding the power button for 1 second, the green light will then flash for 30 seconds and the recording will continue, if for any reason the device does not switch back on please contact us on 01332 315778
Yellow light – This light indicates a low battery, if this happens, please call us on 01332 315778.
What happens if I have symptoms while wearing my monitor?
If you experience symptoms just double tap the monitor firmly, just be careful not to hit the power button, a blue light will come on and an event will be marked on your test, remember to fill in your patient diary so that we know what sort of symptoms you experience.
If, however you experience any severe symptoms while wearing the device, then follow the medical advice of your health professional and seek help immediately. In an emergency, call 999.
What do I do if my device starts to peel off?
If this happens, please contact us on 01332 315778. Please tell us how many days into the test the patch peeled off and we will advise you of the next steps you need to take. If you are confident to reapply the patch yourself you can see how on this video.
Is the device comfortable to wear?
Yes, these devices are very lightweight and comfortable to wear, in fact a lot of people forget they are even wearing them. Although most people have no issues wearing the device, mild irritation may occur, if this does happen but you are still able to wear the device comfortably, then please continue to do so.
If symptoms persist, or you feel that you are no longer able to wear the device please contact us on: