An echocardiogram is an ultrasound scan of the heart.
This technique is painless, non-invasive and very accurate in diagnosing heart problems in children. It allows us to make a very detailed investigation of the features of congenital (present from birth) heart disease as well as the systolic (pumping) and diastolic (relaxing) function of the heart.
We perform over 7,500 echocardiograms per year in addition to more than 3,000 fetal heart scans. For many children, these scans give us enough information to plan their treatment.
Advanced ultrasound techniques
For certain patients, more advanced ultrasound techniques may be needed:
This is where the ultrasound probe is placed in your child's oesophagus (food pipe) to provide detailed images of the heart. This is usually done under general anaesthetic for children, which means your child will be asleep during the entire procedure.
Three dimensional (3D) echocardiography
These scans give our team as much information as possible before heart surgery. We use this technique to help manage congenital heart disease.
Other complementary imaging techniques may also be used: