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How much does an echocardiogram cost?

Posted by KB on May 28, 1999 at 12:21:05
I have no insurance and will have to pay for everything myself. I think I probably should get the echocardiogram, in case I have serious regurgutation. For that matter, how much does it cost if you have to get your MV replaced?

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on May 28, 1999 at 13:42:14
Dear KB,

I don't know exactly but a standard echocardiogram is probably between $200 and $400.  Surgery can cost thousands of dollars.  Why do you think you need an echo?
Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies.  Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.  The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.
Posted by KB on May 28, 1999 at 23:13:02
I went to see a doctor, who said I probably had either costochondritis or MVP. I got CBC, thyroid function tests, chest X-ray, and EKG done, all were normal, but to confirm MVP I'd need the echocardiogram. I've since extensively researched MVP and I do think it matches all my symptoms. I was prescribed Naprosyn, which didn't help, so I doubt it's costochondritis (I do have some chest wall tenderness, so maybe I have a touch of it as well, but the symptoms sound like textbook MVP: chest pain, usually unrelated to exercise, palpitations,sometimes severe, dyspnea, a history of orthostatic hypotension (for the last 10 years!), pre-syncope.  Lately the symptoms have gotten much worse, I have them almost every day, which is what prompted me to break down and get myself to a doctor.
It's interesting that the doctor didn't hear any Mid systolic click or late systolic murmur- but on the day I was there, I barely had any symptoms, so maybe that's why. If I do have MVP and it's not serious, I suppose I'll just have to find some way to live with it, even though I really don't see how people make it with this. I suppose an echocardiogram would let me know once and for all if I have serious regurgitation or not...though I'm tempted to just buy a stethoscope and listen for it by ascultation the next time I experience really serious symtoms...I found this Web page with .wav files of all of the heart sounds http://www.bioscience.org/atlases/heart/sound/sound.htm
Anyway, the short of it is I have no insurance and very little money to spend only to be told to take prophylactic antibiotics before invasive surgery...*but* if there is a chance I'll experience congestive heart failure from ventricular hypertrophy or something...well, that's different...I'll go into massive debt if my life is in danger! So I guess at this point I'm just collecting information about the costs involved: how many thousands of dollars are we talking for mitral valve repair and/or replacement?
Thanks for your help!                  

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on May 29, 1999 at 09:04:25
Dear KB,
I think you're getting the cart in front of the horse here.  If you had mitral regurgitation it is likely your doctor would have heard a murmur.  I wouldn't pin all of your symptoms on MVP.  There is some doubt as to whether MVP even causes symptoms.  Of course if your doctor is recommending an echo you should proceed regardless of the cost but if he only mentioned it it may not return that much for the money.  Is there any chance of getting insurance in the not so distant future?
Information provided here is for educational purposes only.  Only your doctor canm make diagnoses nad recommend treatment.  If you would like to be seen at the Cleveland Clinic please call 1800CCF CARE.

Posted by KB on May 29, 1999 at 13:04:03
That makes me worry a little less. I probably won't get insurance until after graduation, a year from now. I was just concerned because I have almost non-stop palpitations and shortness-of-breath, for the past 2 weeks or so...but not associated with panic or anxiety attacks. I thought if the symtoms were so severe, surely I had a serious form of MVP and/or mitral regurgitation. I think I'll just continue to monitor the symtoms- and maybe get a stethoscope and listen for a murmur myself. If the symptoms persist, I suppose I'll have to break down and get the echo and take it from there. Thanks for your input!

Posted by CCF CARDIO MD - CRC on June 01, 1999 at 10:36:33
Dear KB,
Don't let money stand in your way if you really need to see someone before you get insurance. Best wishes.  

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