The Heart and Vascular Clinic Nashville, TN

What Is A TEE (Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram)?

A Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram is an alternative to a standard echocardiogram, and is designed to provide clearer and closer images of the heart. During the procedure, an ultrasound transducer is guided into the esophagus, which is located right by the heart. Once in place, this transducer uses sound waves to create and record images of the heart itself.

Why Might I Need A TEE?

Your doctor may recommend a Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram if a traditional echocardiogram did not render clear images, or if the suspected problem area of the heart can be better viewed by a TEE.

A TEE will allow your doctor to see:

  • The Efficiency Of The Heart
  • The Size And Strength Of The Heart
  • Any Flaws Or Abnormalities In The Heart
  • Blood Clots
  • Blood Flow Problems In The Heart (Blockages/Leaks)
  • Heart Damage Or Signs Of Disease

What Should I Expect?

Before the test begins, you will be administered a calming sedative (via IV) and a medication that will numb your throat. You will then have electrodes placed on your body to monitor your heart’s activity throughout the procedure. Next, the transducer is inserted into your mouth and down into your esophagus. The transducer is a device that sends and measures sound waves, which bounce off of your heart and translate into images. When a sufficient amount of images are captured, the transducer is removed and you will rest until you are ready to leave.

Your doctor may or may not discuss the findings with you on the day of the test.

How Should I Prepare?

To prepare for the test, you may be asked to fast for several hours, and to avoid alcoholic beverages. You will also need to remove dentures (if applicable) before the test begins.

You will most likely feel drowsy after the test, and should arrange to have someone else drive you home.

As with all tests, it is important to talk with your doctor about any allergies, medications and medical conditions. You should also inform your doctor if you are or may be pregnant.

If you have any questions regarding a Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram, please ask your doctor during your next visit.

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