Test Details

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test that can be used to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.
Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats.
These signals are recorded by a machine and are analysed to see if they’re unusual.

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An ECG can help detect:
arrhythmias – where the heart beats too slowly, too quickly, or irregularly
coronary heart disease – where the heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances
heart attacks – where the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked
cardiomyopathy – where the heart walls become thickened or enlarged

How an ECG is carried out

There are several different ways an ECG can be carried out. Generally, the test involves attaching a number of small, sticky sensors called electrodes to your arms, legs and chest. These are connected by wires to an ECG recording machine.
You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for the test. You can eat and drink as normal beforehand.
Before the electrodes are attached, you’ll usually need to remove your upper clothing, and an area of your chest may need to be shaved.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram, or “echo”, is a scan used to look at the heart and nearby blood vessels.
It’s a type of ultrasound scan, which means a small probe is used to send out high-frequency sound waves that create echoes when they bounce off different parts of the body.

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These echoes are picked up by the probe and turned into a moving image on a monitor while the scan is carried out.
An echocardiogram can help diagnose and monitor certain heart conditions by checking the structure of the heart and surrounding blood vessels, analysing how blood flows through them and assessing the pumping chambers of the heart.
An echocardiogram can help detect:
damage from a heart attack – where the supply of blood to the heart was suddenly blocked
heart failure – where the heart fails to pump enough blood around the body at the right pressure
congenital heart disease – birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart
problems with the heart valves – problems affecting the valves that control the flow of blood within the heart
cardiomyopathy – where the heart walls become thickened or enlarged
endocarditis – an infection of the heart valves

How an echocardiogram is carried out

You’ll be asked to remove any clothing covering your upper half before lying down on a bed. You may be offered a hospital gown to cover yourself during the test.
When you’re lying down, several small sticky sensors called electrodes will be attached to your chest. These will be connected to a machine that monitors your heart rhythm during the test.
A lubricating gel will be applied to your chest or directly to the ultrasound probe. You’ll be asked to lie on your left side and the probe will be moved across your chest.
The probe is attached by a cable to a nearby machine that will display and record the images produced.
You will not hear the sound waves produced by the probe, but you may hear a swishing noise during the scan. This is normal and is just the sound of the blood flow through your heart being picked up by the probe.

Are there any risks or side effects?

A standard echocardiogram is a simple, painless, safe procedure. There are no side effects from the scan, although the lubricating gel may feel cold and you may experience some minor discomfort when the electrodes are removed from your skin at the end of the test.

Blood pressure monitoring

A blood pressure test is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high or too low.
Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your arteries as it’s pumped around your body.

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High blood pressure (hypertension) can put a strain on your arteries and organs, which can increase your risk of developing serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.
Low blood pressure (hypotension) isn’t usually as serious, although it can cause dizziness and fainting in some people.
A blood pressure test is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high or too low, because most people won’t have any obvious symptoms. Having a test is easy and could save your life.

How blood pressure is tested

A device called a sphygmomanometer will be used to measure your blood pressure.
This consists of an arm cuff and an automatic device that use sensors and has a digital display.
It’s best to sit down with your back supported and legs uncrossed for the test. You’ll usually need to roll up your sleeves or remove any long-sleeved clothing, so the cuff can be placed around your upper arm. Try to relax and avoid talking while the test is carried out.

Cholesterol test

High cholesterol, though potentially damaging, may not cause observable symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.

Finger-prick test

The test can be done by pricking your finger. A drop of blood is put on a strip of paper. This is put into a machine that checks your cholesterol in a few minutes.

Screening Questionnaire

From the information you provide about your lifestyle and family history, we can give you a thorough evaluation of your risk of heart disease.

Blood screening package

A small amount of blood will be collected via a syringe. This will then be sent off to be analysed by doctors in a laboratory. It looks at everything from your risk of heart disease and diabetes to how your major organs are functioning. We include some vital tests for energy, like thyroid function, iron and essential vitamins and minerals, and we take a look at your hormone balance to make sure your levels are where they should be for your stage of life.

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Key tests include: red and white blood cells, liver health, kidney function, diabetes, iron status, cholesterol, inflammation as well as ferritin, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, thyroid function and magnesium. This profile is specific for women by including female hormones FSH, LH and oestradiol which are markers for menstruation, fertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This profile also specific for men by including a test for testosterone, a male hormone essential for libido, fertility and building muscle mass.

You are welcome to bring a family member or friend to your appointment if desired. We are able to provide a chaperone if needed. Please contact us via email to arrange. All under 18s must be accompanied by a parent or responsible adult.