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Transesophageal Echocardiogram: What to Expect at Home

Your Recovery

A transesophageal echocardiogram is a test to help your doctor look at the inside of your heart. A small device called a transducer directs sound waves toward your heart. The sound waves make a picture of the heart's valves and chambers.

Before the test, your throat was sprayed with medicine to numb it. Your throat may be sore for a few days.

You may have had a sedative to help you relax. You may be unsteady after having sedation. It can take a few hours for the medicine's effects to wear off. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, and feeling sleepy or tired.

This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.

How can you care for yourself at home?


  • If a sedative was used, your doctor will tell you when it is safe for you to do your normal activities.
  • For your safety, do not drive or operate any machinery that could be dangerous. Wait until the medicine wears off and you can think clearly and react easily.


  • Do not eat or drink until the numbness in your throat wears off.
  • When the numbness is gone, you can eat your normal diet.
  • Throat lozenges and warm saltwater gargles can help relieve throat soreness. Throat lozenges can be used by people age 4 or older. And most people can gargle at age 8 and older.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • Your stools are maroon or very bloody.
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have pain in your chest, belly, or back.
  • You have new or worse trouble swallowing.
  • You have trouble breathing.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.