Transesophageal Echocardiogram

Transesophageal Echocardiogram

A Transesophageal Echocardiogram, or TEE, is a test that uses ultrasound technology to take a close look at the heart valves and chambers. The patient is given IV sedatives to make him quite sleepy, and his throat is sprayed with a numbing medicine. The doctor guides an endoscope into the esophagus and, once the endoscope is in place, the doctor takes pictures of the heart from various angles (something the patient does not feel).

This procedure sometimes precedes a Cardioversion, in order to make sure there are no clots in the upper chambers of the heart, which could otherwise lead to complications. If clots are discovered, the CV is delayed for a few weeks, and the patient will go on blood thinners to reduce the possibility of complications.

Preparation for a TEE involves not eating or drinking for 6 hours before the procedure, except the patient may have some morning pills with a sip of water.