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Cardiothoracic Services (Heart and Lung)

Echo Clinic Freeman Hospital

Echocardiograms provide an accurate picture of how well your heart is functioning and how healthy it is. The test is safe and easy, and does not hurt.

If you have recently had a heart attack or have been diagnosed with heart failure, you are likely to be given an Echocardiogram. You may be asked to come to the Echo clinic regularly for routine check ups on your condition. Echocardiograms are also used for newborn babies and infants, suspected of having some form of heart disease.

How to find us

Directions to the wardShow [+] Hide [-]

The Echo Clinic is based in the Cardiothoracic Centre at Freeman Hospital. To find us:

  • Come through the entrance of the Cardiothoracic Centre and walk past the reception desk, following round to your right. 
  • When you come to a junction turn left and look for the sign on your right hand side for the Echo Clinic.

How to get to the hospital

Staff you are likely to meet

When you arrive in the Echo Clinic you will meet specially trained staff called Echocardiographers who will look after you during your time here.

The types of test you can expect

The Echocardiogram (Echo) Clinic carries out three types of ECHO tests:


A small probe is placed on your chest that picks up echoes reflected from various parts of your heart. These “echoes” are displayed on a monitor. The test takes about 30 minutes to complete.

Transoesophageal Echocardiogram

This allows detailed images of the heart to be taken via your oesophagus (gullet). This type of Echo allows doctors to see very clear images of the heart valves and surrounding area, and involves ‘swallowing’ a thin flexible tube with a ‘probe’ on the end. The ‘probe’ then sends the images back to a monitor. To help make you more comfortable, you can have the back of your throat sprayed with a numbing anaesthetic or you can ask to be given a mild sedative. 

Stress Echocardiogram

This type of Echo is occasionally carried out after the heart has been “stressed” either through exercise or using special drugs. The procedure is similar to a standard Echo and can help to identify whether or not you have heart disease.

What happens next?

If you have been referred by your GP, the results of your Echo will be sent to him directly and he will arrange to discuss these with you at a time convenient to you.

If you have come from a clinic, you will be given the results by the Echocardiographer and asked to return to the clinic to see your consultant. Your results can be discussed there and then.

Things you need to know

  • There is a loop system fitted at all reception points and on  the TV in the waiting area. A portable loop system is available in consulting rooms.

More information

For more information about the Echo Clinic, please contact:

  • tel: 0191 223 1668
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