TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram)

Transesophageal echocardiogram is a procedure to evaluate cardiac structures and function. It records images of the heart from inside the esophagus. It allows for a better view of the heart than the standard transthoracic echocardiogram. Additionally, a TEE can evaluate excess fluid in the sac around the heart, detect heart tumors and blood clots within the heart chambers. This procedure is standard prior to heart valve surgery, and cardioversion. The TEE is performed at the hospital.

What will happen?

Adhesive skin electrodes will be applied to the chest and then attached to a heart monitor.  An IV will be started and a mild sedative will be given through the IV by a staff nurse.  An ultrasound probe will then be inserted and passed into the esophagus. The entire procedure will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes. 

Pre instructions: 

Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before.Take no medications the morning of procedure.You need someone to drive you home or make arrangements for transportation.Wear clothing that is easy to get off/on.Do not wear any jewelry.

Post procedure:

  • Recovery time is approximately 2 hours.
  • You will not be able to eat or drink any thing for approximately 2 hours after the procedure unless directed otherwise from your physician.
  • After 2 hours if cold liquids are taken without any problems, then you may resume eating.
  • Mild throat soreness for several hours after the test is normal.
  • Do not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 12 hours after test.