What is Transesophageal echocardiography?
Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a test that gives your doctor images of your heart. It is done from inside your esophagus (food pipe). Because the esophagus lies just behind the heart, TEE gives clearer pictures than standard echocardiography taken from outside the chest. During TEE, harmless sound waves bounce (echo) off your heart. These sound waves create images of your heart on a video screen. The images help your doctor identify problems such as heart infection or disease, or problems with your heart's walls or valves.
Tell your doctor if you have difficulty swallowing or if you have ever had surgery or problems related to swallowing, the esophagus or stomach.
This test is done both on in-patients and as a "day" procedure. Do NOT eat or drink anything from midnight the night before the test. Tell your doctor about any medications which you routinely take in the morning.
Remember, NO coffee or juice or the test will have to be cancelled. Since you will recieve sedation you cannot drive home from the hospital, should not plan on working the same day as the procedure and should have some supervision for a few hours after the test is completed.
Patients having a TEE done as an out-patient are sent home very soon after the procedure is completed.
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