Are there any risks or side effects?

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

Unlike some other tests and scans, such as X-rays and computerised tomography (CT) scans , no radiation is used during an echocardiogram. However, there are some risks associated with theless common types of echocardiogram.

You may find the TOE procedure uncomfortable and your throat may feel sore for a few hours afterwards. You won't be able to drive for 24 hours after thetest as you may still feel drowsy from the sedative. There's also a small chance of the probe damaging your throat.

During a stress echocardiogram, you may feel sick and dizzy and you may experience some chest pain . There's also a small chance of the procedure triggering an irregular heartbeat or heart attack, but you'll be monitored carefully during the test and it will be stopped if there are signs of any problems.

Some peoplehave a reaction to the contrast agent used during a contrast echocardiogram. This will often only cause mild symptoms such as itching , but in rare casesa serious allergic reaction can occur.

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018