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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
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 TO PREPARE:
The week before your procedure:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
- Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
The night before your procedure:
Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
The day of your procedure:
- Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN:
What will happen:
- 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.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.
CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You have a fever.
- You get a cold or the flu.
- You have questions or concerns about your surgery.
Seek Care Immediately if
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
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.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.