A TEE is done when your doctor needs a closer look at your heart or does not get the information needed from a regular echo.This lets the doctor see pictures of the heart without the ribs or lungs getting in the way.
In this procedure:
- Your throat will be numbed with a spray or gel
- A flexible tube containing a transducer will be guided down your throat and into your esophagus, and positioned to obtain images of your heart
If you have a Trans esophageal echocardiogram, your throat may be sore for a few hours afterward. Rarely, the tube may scrape the inside of your throat. Your oxygen level will be monitored during the exam to check for any breathing problems caused by sedation medication.
How you prepare
If you’re having a Trans esophageal echocardiogram, your doctor will ask you not to eat for several hours beforehand.
If you’re having a Trans esophageal echocardiogram, you won’t be able to drive afterward because of the medication you’ll likely receive. Be sure to arrange for a ride home.
After the procedure
Most people can resume their normal daily activities after an echocardiogram.
Information from the echocardiogram may show:
- Changes in your heart size. Weakened or damaged heart valves, high blood pressure or other diseases can cause the chambers of your heart to enlarge or the walls of your heart to be abnormally thickened.
- Pumping strength. The measurements obtained from an echocardiogram include the percentage of blood that’s pumped out of a filled ventricle with each heartbeat and the volume of blood pumped by the heart in one minute. A heart that isn’t pumping enough blood to meet your body’s needs can lead to symptoms of heart failure.
- Damage to the heart muscle. An echocardiogram helps your doctor determine whether all parts of the heart wall are contributing normally to your heart’s pumping activity. Areas of heart wall that move weakly may have been damaged during a heart attack, or be receiving too little oxygen.
- Valve problems. An echocardiogram can help your doctor determine if your heart valves open wide enough for adequate blood flow or close fully to prevent blood leakage.
- Heart defects. An echocardiogram can show problems with the heart chambers, abnormal connections between the heart and major blood vessels, and complex heart defects that are present at birth.
- TEE is a test that uses sound waves to make pictures of your heart’s muscle and chambers, valves and outer lining (pericardium), as well as the blood vessels that connect to your heart.
- Doctors often use TEE when they need more detail than a standard echocardiogram can give them.
- The sound waves sent to your heart by the probe in your esophagus are translated into pictures on a video screen.