Transesophageal Echocardigram (TEE)
During this test, a small tube-like probe will be passed into your esophagus so that clear ultrasound pictures can be taken of your heart structures. A tiny ultrasound element at the tip of the probe allows images of your heart to be obtained using sound waves. The test is performed by a specially trained cardiologist assisted by a registered cardiac technologist and nursing staff, and is done with continuous ECG and blood pressure monitoring.
In special circumstances, this test is used to obtain more or clearer information than can be obtained on a standard resting echocardiogram. In this case, the TEE probe is in the esophagus and very close to the heart, so images are very clear. A TEE can also be used to guide other procedures, such as cardioversion, or bubble studies to evaluate for abnormal communication between heart chambers.
Assessment for congenital heart defects, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, artificial heart valve function, and the presence of blood clots in the heart are common reasons for performing a TEE.
Your throat will be numb, and you will be given intravenous sedation so that you will be comfortable throughout the test. The test itself lasts approximately 20 minutes. However, please allow approximately three hours; additional time is necessary in order to prepare you for the test, as well as to observe you for a while after the test is over.
- If your doctor requests a special blood test prior to the TEE, be sure to get it done on the specified date. You will be contacted by Midstate Medical Center (map) prior to your appointment. If you miss the phone call, the number for Cardiodiagnostics is (203) 694-8215.
- Have nothing to eat or drink from midnight on prior to your TEE appointment.
- If you have diabetes or some other special medication consideration, ask your doctor for special instructions on how to take your medication on the day of the test.
- You will not be able to drive after the test for the remainder of the day, so bring someone with you to transport you home.
- You will need to report to Midstate Medical Center (map) , Cardiodiagnostics on Lewis Avenue in Meriden at the scheduled time.
We hope this has been helpful, but should you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office at (203)265-9831 and ask for the TEE coordinator.