Transesophageal Echocardiogram (T.E.E.)

Transesophageal Echocardiogram (T.E.E.) is a special type of echocardiogram that is done in the hospital, usually as an outpatient procedure using I.V. sedation. After sedation, a tube, called a probe, is inserted through your mouth into the esophagus. Once the probe is in position, the physician performing the test is able to visualize your heart valves and the chambers of your heart. This test is particularly helpful to see signs of clots or tumors inside the chambers of the heart, and to see the severity of any valve defects. This test is done less often due to the need to perform it in the hospital under sedation.

Preparation:

  • Have someone escort you to the hospital to assist you in getting home. You will not be able to drive yourself after being sedated
  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before the test
  • No medications on the day of the test, or as instructed by your provider
  • If you are on a blood thinner (Coumadin) you will get specific instructions from your provider’s nurse about when to stop taking it before the test
  • The hospital or the provider’s nurse will give you information about when and where to go to register and have the test done
  • The nurse at the hospital will prepare you for the test and start an intravenous line (I.V.)
  • Only specially trained physicians perform this test, so the physician doing the test may not be your provider.

During the test:

  • Once the physician has arrived to start the test, you will be given the sedation.
  • Your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored during the test
  • When you begin to awaken, you will not remember anything that happened during the test, and sometimes you may not remember events right after the test.

After the test:

  • Once you are fully awake and able to swallow water normally, you will be allowed to go home from the hospital
  • If your provider performs the test, they may talk with you or the person with you about the test results
  • The report will be sent to the provider who ordered the test.
  • It will be up to your provider or their nurse to inform you about the results of the test.
  • You may eat and drink normally after you leave the hospital
  • You should not drive or perform other dangerous activities for the rest of the day