Heart Monitor and Bubble Echocardiogram

Hi All

I'm in need of some advice. Is it normal procedure to have a heart monitor fitted and then be called for a bubble echocardiogram. I'm stressing that I have now got a heart problem. I had a massive operation 9 years ago, surely any problems would be picked up then! ?




i had a stroke a month ago. Main cause was hypertension, high blood pressure. They checked my heart too, ecg. They have found a heart murmur. It is very stressful when you find these things out. 

I always would go with all the checks and tests I can get. It’s more stressful not to know. 


I had a stroke a year ago aged 46. I had both these tests as looking for a PFO which is a flap that doesn't close in your heart when you are born. They said 25% of population have this and if have a stroke at a young age they check it out. Hope you get on ok with them both and try not to stress too much which going by my own experience is easier said than done.

Hi Debbie

Thank you for your reply. You sound very similar to me, I am 44. When you had all these tests did they find anything ( if you don't mind me asking).  I'm hoping that they are just running these tests to rule things out, but it doesn't stop you mithering. Hope your recovering well ?

Hi Sandy

Thanks for the reply. I'm hoping that BP was the cause of my stroke. It was in the 200d's when I was admitted to hospital. If you don't mind me asking what happened with your treatment after the stroke.

I'm on BP tablets at the moment, statins and clopidogel. Are you still on similar pills? Hope you are recovering well.?

Hi Rach.the consultant said it was hypertension. I went for my man checks in the summer and was told by the gp I had high blood pressure. He did not medicate but gave me statins for high cholesterol.im off them now as cholesterol is fine

my blood pressure was over 180. Since my stroke on the 17th September I’ve been on on ramipril, bendroflumethiazide  and amlodipine and my bp  is downtown anything between 119 and 135. I bought a pressure monitor as it I’d impossible to get one done at the practice. Worth getting one get the arm band one not a wrist one.

lve lost a bit of cognitive sense on my left side, speech is ok I just have to concentrate more. I feel if I have a hangover pretty much all the time. 

thanks so much for responding, sometimes it feels you are so alone and as the issue is in your head I wonder if it is going to happen again. I get vivid dreams and I have trouble sleeping sometimes.

ive had 4 physio session, two physical and one language and the other was the prognosis. That’s it now as my issues are classified as mild. I would probably agree with that.

l had another mri last week and I a waiting for the results. Then there are a couple of clinics to follow.

ive been walking a lot, a couple of 4mile walks followed by a rest for an hour or so. No alcohol and no naughty food. Porridge for breakfast and homemade soup for lunch. My appetite is less and I have lost over a stone l

ive been told I’ll be fit to work end of Jan.

How are you doing? Please let me know. 

I try to stay bright for my family and friends, they have been brilliant and supportive. 

Rach please try to stay cheerful and keep busy but don’t do it. Try reading books and and do puzzles 

im actually doing crosswords and soduko first time in my life. Please keep in touch 





Hi Sandy

Thanks for the reply. It's good to know you're not alone.

I had my stroke 4 weeks ago yesterday. It happened at work. My right hand and speech were affected. My hand is nearly back to normal but writing is terrible and speech is ok then goes.

My BP is still high 150/105 last week but it is going down - a bit. I'm on rampril and amlodipine. 

Just need to get these heart tests out of the way which is mithering me. I do wake up in the night to check my pulse is normal - mad I know.

I like you am out walking every day, trying to do 10000 steps - easier said than done. I'm out with my dog every day but not too far as he's nearly 15. But at least the weather has been excellent.

I'm seeing the consultant next week and hopefully he will allow me to drive which will help, giving me some more freedom.

I do feel a bit miffed that a stroke has happened as I don't drink or smoke and yes I'm overweight but I've been going to the gym twice a week and dropped a dress size.

My outlook is if life throws you lemons make lemonade. My friends have been amazing visiting, running me around and taking me out. We only went to the cinema the other week and was home by 8pm but boy was I shattered.

Keep me updated of your journey.

Rach ?

ECG all ok but the bubbles did go through with bubble echo so diagnosed PFO. Other people have commented on here about options and one was to have anticoagulant tablets for life. I decided to self fund operation and had another test last week a transoesophagel echo which didn't find anything so waiting to hear more. When they diagnosed it I at least had a reason for the stroke and knew that either medication or operation would help to prevent further strokes. I hope your tests go ok and that you are recovering well. From speaking to my Consultant the tests are carried out purely to rule things out due to our ages, please try not to worry and focus on recovery.

Hi Rach.

yes let’s keep in touch on our progress. We are fortunate with the weather and the autumn sun with the changing colours makes walking a pleasure.

Like me you have good friends I hope all goes well with the consultant. I’m hoping I get some news of my last mri next week. 

Chat soon



Hi Debbie

Thank you so much for your reply. Hope you get the answers to your test soon. ?

It's good to know that these tests will rule things out, but it doesn't stop you worrying.

Hope you are doing ok and keep me updated on your journey. X

Will do. Hope your tests go ok too.

Hello Rach, I had my Stroke (or two) last year and as I’m 50yrs they like to try and find an answer so they can treat the cause more specific.

I have now had two heart monitors both for a week and bubble echo. The heart monitor is to establish if you have atrial fribilation which could have caused your stroke if this is negative they may then go for a bubble test to see if your Stroke was caused by a hole in your heart, the bubble echo is the only way to really establish this.

They have established for me I have a large hole in my heart which seems to be the reason for my Stroke. Personally I welcome this news as it gives me a reason for the Stroke if I did not have a hole then I feel I’m a walking time bomb with no answer as to why.

25% of the population have a hole in the heart and only 25% of them I believe have complications such as a Stroke. Once establishes they will change your medication so your blood does not clot and then consider whether to do key hole to close it with a divice. Unfortunately the NHS are not funding closing a hole as it is expensive compared to meds’ unless it is large and your health issues meet Nice guide lines. 

I have gone private as I had cover and I am having mine closed by op on 12 Nov as my hole is large and the flap foals around like a flag ?

so personally try not to worry they generally do the bubble echo when they are running out of ideas as to what caused your Stroke not because they have already seen something and I would rather find out the cause if they can so they can get your meds right.

hope it goes well and let us know what if anything they find.


Hi Malcolm

Thanks for your reply. I see the consultant on Tuesday, so fingers crossed ?.

I will let you know how I get on.

Rach ?

Hi Rach

??? It’s all fairly painless and quick, mine was about 10-15mins then depends how many pictures they want if they see bubbles appear in the left chamber, ask them if they see any bubbles in the left chamber so you know on the day you have a hole and ask how many .. they say 1-20 is small 20+ is medium and complete opacification (white out ?) then it’s large. If you just see the person doing the scan they might not like to say so ask them, if you are seeing the cardiologist they will tell you.

Good luck and remember they will doing the bubble because they have found nothing so far to give reason for your stroke and so will want to rule out a hole in the heart in case you need to be on different meds.

Good luck 




Hi Sandy

Just an update I saw the consultant yesterday. They think the stroke happened due to high BP - like yourself. Just got to get through the bubble echocardiogram and providing that comes back ok with the heart trace then the BP is the problem. 

Isn't is weird seeing your brain ?. I had had lots of little bleeds before the stroke happened. Did you have any?

He obviously told me to try and lose some weight, which I am trying to do.

Good news I can now drive, go to the gym and get back to 'normal' life. Follow up appointment in 3 months.

So I went out with my other half for lunch as a little celebration, plus it's his b'day on Sunday ??

How are you doing? It's still good weather for walking! ???‍♀️?

Rach ?

Hi Rach

I am glad you managed to see the consultant. I am chasing them for an appointment. I have on at the end of this month and they are trying to bring it forward. I’m not convinced everything is ok in my head and I have had another mri. Still feeling hangoverish and tired. 

Like you the doctors David I had microbleeds before the stroke. I didn’t feel anything and felt very well until the stroke. 

Thank you for your positive not I am so happy you managed to get out and drive as well as celebrate ? 

keep in touch 


Aww Sandy

? Everything goes well for you. Keep going - you're doing great!! 

I'm still aprehensive about the echocardiogram's next week. Did you get the results on the day you had them done?

Going to be a good day to go for a walk ??

I'll let you know how next week goes - nervous ?

Rach ?

Hi Rach. Apologies for not replying it’s been a challenging week. Mainly as I have been trying to speed things up with mri results and consultants and I’ve had a few headaches 

How are you doing? Have you had anything back. Are you managing to stay cheerful? For me every day at a time.

at least we have had a beautiful autumn and I’ve been doing a lot of walking. My friends have been great.

Let’s keep in touch 






Hi Sandy

I'm doing ok thanks. Echo and bubble echo all done. Heard nothing yet - how long does it take?

Sorry to hear about your headache's hope they get sorted soon.

As a little treat I'm going for a little massage tomorrow. Can't wait to chill and relax - it's supposed to help bring your BP down!

Hope you go on ok. Keep me updated. Keep on walking ? and smiling ?

Rach x

Hi Rach

thanks for your kind words, they cheered me up. 

I am glad your tests went well. It takes a while for the results they have to be studied by the consultants. The best advice I have got is to pester, phone them up and try and get hold of the consultants secretary. I am stuck between a hospital who looks after common strokes and a specialist hospital as they think I have had historic micro bleeds. 

This week I started chasing both hospitals and managed to get my GP to as well. Things seem to be moving now. I’m going to start pestering again on Monday. I’ve also had a call for a physio clinic at another hospital...that makes 5 now, I think I will do some reviews on trip advisor ?

Befriend the secretary and hassle the consultant. They took over 100 images of my head at the last mri.

ive been out with friends this week so I’m feeling better mentally. 

Pits great chatting to you and it helps enormously. Thanks so much 

stay happy

sandy x ?