The Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) is a test used to assess cardiac structure and function. In addition, a TEE can detect heart tumors and excess fluid in the sac that surrounds the heart. The TEE affords the physician a better view of the heart than what may be obtained from a standard thransthoracic echocardiogram.
  • Do not eat or drink anything six hours before the test.
  • Do not smoke the day of the test.
  • If you are diabetic and on insulin, please notify the nurse.
  • Please notify the nurse if you have any medication allergies, throat or swallowing problems or ulcers/gastritis.
  • Patients must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. That person should be prepared to stay at the site for the duration of the test.
  • It is necessary to have someone accompany you to drive you home. They will need to remain on site during your test. The test WILL BE RESCHEDULED if there is no one with you to drive you home.
  • Adhesive skin electrodes will be applied to the chest and then attached to a heart monitor.
  • An IV will be started and a mild sedative will be given through the IV.
  • An anesthetic spray or liquid will be used to numb your mouth and throat.
  • After the throat is numb, an ultrasound probe is passed into the esophagus. Because of the sedation and anesthetic spray, you will have very little discomfort.
  • The room will be darkened slightly for the physician to better see the pictures of the heart.
The entire test takes approximately 20 minutes, but expect to stay in the laboratory for 60 – 90 minutes in total duration.