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.
Your doctor may do this test to look for certain types of heart disease. Or it may be done to see how disease is affecting your heart.
You will be given medicine to make you sleepy and comfortable during the test.
The doctor puts a small, flexible tube into your throat and guides it to the esophagus. This is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. The doctor will ask you to swallow as the tube goes down.
The transducer is at the tip of the tube. It gets close to your heart to make clear pictures. The doctor will look at the ultrasound pictures on a screen.
You will not be able to eat or drink until the numbness from the throat spray wears off. Your throat may be sore for a few days after the test.
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 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.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: September 21, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
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