Transesophageal Echocardiography

A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a picture test of your heart using sound waves. The pictures taken can give very detailed pictures of your heart. This can help your doctor see if there are problems with your heart. A TEE can check:

  • If your heart has blood clots in it.

  • How well your heart valves are working.

  • If you have puffiness (swelling) on the inside lining of your heart.

  • Some of the major arteries of your heart.

TEST

  • A tube (catheter) is put down your esophagus.

  • A tube (IV) will be started in your hand or arm. The medicine will be given through the tube to keep you relaxed.

  • A numbing medicine will be sprayed in the back of your throat to help numb it.

  • The tip of the probe is placed into the back of your mouth and you will be asked to swallow. This helps to pass the probe into your esophagus.

  • Once the tip of the probe is in the right place, your doctor can take pictures of your heart.

  • You may feel pressure at the back of your throat.

AFTER THE TEST

  • You will be taken to a recovery room area so the sedation can wear off. You will go home when you are fully awake and able to swallow liquids.

  • Your throat may be sore and scratchy. This normally goes away in 24 hours.

  • Have someone take you home. Do not drive or use machinery for the rest of the day.

Finding out the results of your test

Ask when your test results will be ready. Make sure you get your test results.