Trans Esophageal Echo (TEE)

You may have already had a regular heart ultrasound (Echocardiogram) in the office. The Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) test provides a closer look at the heart's valves and chambers without interference from the ribs or lungs.

TEE tests are often used when the results from standard echo tests are not sufficient, or when your doctor wants a closer look at your heart. The doctor will insert a thin, lubricated endoscope into your mouth, down your throat and into your esophagus. This part of the test lasts a few seconds and may be uncomfortable. The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing. You may be asked to swallow at certain times to help pass the endoscope. Once the probe is in position, pictures of the heart are obtained at various angles (you will not feel this part of the test). Your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level of your blood will be closely monitored during and immediately after the exam.

How do I prepare for the test?

You should not have anything to eat or drink after midnight the night before the procedure. You should bring all your medications with you and should have someone to drive you home.

Will I be awake for the procedure?

You will be given medication through your IV to help you relax. You may be drowsy, but should be able to follow directions if needed, such as swallowing.

Will I have to spend the night in the hospital?

You should be allowed to go home after you are more awake and have someone to drive you home.