Transesophageal Echocardiography

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When there are concerns over how your heart moves and functions, you may be scheduled for a transesophageal echocardiogram or TEE. These tests utilize ultrasound technology to create images of the movement of your heart. These images make it possible to view the chambers and valves of the heart and evaluate its pumping action. An endoscope is passed through the esophagus to allow clear imagery without the lungs or ribs interfering. TEE’s are one of the services offered at Metro Detroit Cardiovascular Associates in Detroit, MI.

Transesophageal Echocardiograms And When You Need One

TEE’s are diagnostic tests performed to identify or confirm the presence of a number of cardiovascular diseases. An endoscope, a thin, flexible camera, is passed down the esophagus to provide clear access to the heart using ultrasound. Ultrasounds are high-frequency sound waves that are used to get clear images without having direct access. They are also used during pregnancy to identify developmental concerns with the baby while still in the uterus. As part of cardiovascular medicine, a TEE is used to identify:

  • The health and function of your chambers and valves
  • Pericardial disease, myocardial disease, valve disease, infective endocarditis, congenital heart disease, and cardiac masses
  • Heart valve recovery success after surgery
  • Abnormalities occurring in the left atrium (top left chamber of the heart)

When preparing for the test, you should inform Dr. Gottam if you have any health concerns with your esophagus. Sleep apnea, IV drug use, problems swallowing, and hiatal hernias are all examples. You should also include if you take medication to relieve anxiety, aid sleep, or use narcotic medication to treat pain.

You will avoid consuming food or liquids for at least six hours before the test begins. You should also take all of your medications, but only with a minimal amount of water. If you have diabetes, you should inform Dr. Gottam so he can provide specific instructions related to the test. 

It will also be necessary for you to have someone available to drive you home following the test. You should allow someone else to drive until the following day, as the sedation used will impair judgment, cause drowsiness and also dizziness. It will be unsafe to operate any machinery or drive until it has left your system. 

What Happens In A Transesophageal Echocardiography

Prior to the test beginning, Dr. Gottam will go over the procedure in detail. It’s important during this stage to ask any questions. To begin the test, you will be changed into a hospital gown and have electrodes attached to your chest using small, sticky patches. These measure your heart’s electrical activity. A blood pressure cuff is fitted, and an oxygen monitor is placed on your finger. You will also receive a solution to gargle to help in numbing your throat, as well as a spray-applied by the nurse to do the same. At this point, you will receive an anesthetic that may make you feel drowsy as it helps you relax. The endoscope is then inserted, and the imagery will be taken. Contact our offices to learn more about your upcoming TEE.