Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
Echocardiogram is a test in which the heart can be seen and studied through the use of sound waves (ultrasound). In a regular (transthoracic) echocardiogram, these sound waves are obtained from a probe that is placed on the chest. The transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) uses a special probe that is positioned in the esophagus so that it is closer to the heart, thus it allows better examination of cardiovascular structures in specific situations.
Do not eat or drink anything for at least four hours before your test, except for sips of water with any medications you normally take. If you are diabetic, please call us at (414) 649-3366 for further instructions.
This test will be done by a physician and a technologist. You will have the test done in an exam room in our office.
Electrodes will be placed on your chest so that your heart tracing (ECG) can be recorded.
While you are at rest, the technologist may move a probe, called a transducer, from place to place over your chest to obtain different images of your heart. This is the transthoracic approach.
An intravenous (IV) line will be started in a vein in your arm. The doctor will give you medications through the IV line to help you relax and to help dry your saliva (your mouth may begin to feel dry after this).
The doctor will spray an anesthetic in your throat to make it feel numb.
You will be asked to swallow a flexible tube, inside of which is a special probe (transducer) that will help the doctor obtain images of your heart. This is the transesophageal echocardiogram.
Your TEE will last about 30 to 60 minutes.
After Your Test
You will remain in bed for one additional hour and your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be checked several times. You'll be asked not to eat or drink for one hour. You might be drowsy from the medication, so be sure to call for help the first time you get out of bed.
You will remain in the lab until the medication has worn off. We suggest that you have someone drive you home.
If you have questions or concerns after you get home, please call
(414) 649-3366 and ask for the Echocardiography Technologist.
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