What do I need to know about a transesophageal echocardiogram?
A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a procedure used to check for problems with your heart. It will also show any problems in the blood vessels near your heart. Sound waves are sent to the heart through a tube inserted into your throat. The sound waves show the structure and function of your heart through pictures on a monitor.
How do I prepare for my procedure?
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.
What will happen during my procedure?
- You will lie down with your chin bent down to touch your chest. A mouthguard will be put into your mouth. The mouthguard keeps you from biting down on the tools that are put into your mouth.
- An ultrasound probe will be put into your mouth and down your throat. The probe is a long, thin, bendable tube with a transducer on the end. You may be asked to swallow several times as it is moved down your throat. The transducer is a small transmitter that sends sound waves to your heart. The sound waves can travel around your heart so pictures of your heart will show up clearly. The TEE usually takes less than 45 minutes.
What are the risks of the procedure?
You may have trouble breathing or an irregular heartbeat. Your esophagus or trachea may tear. Your blood pressure may go too high or too low.
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