uses sound waves to make images of the heart. In transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), the ultrasound probe is passed down the throat
the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that goes from the throat to the stomach. The esophagus sits very close to the heart. This method allows for clearer images of the heart than other methods.
Reasons for Procedure
This test is done to look for problems of the heart, including:
Avoid alcohol for several days before the procedure. Alcohol may interfere with the type of sedative used.
Do not eat or drink for 4-8 hours before the procedure.
Arrange to have someone give you a ride home after the procedure.
You will be given a mild sedative through an IV. You will be sleepy throughout the procedure. A topical anesthetic may also be applied to the back of the throat. This will numb the throat.
Description of the Procedure
You will be asked to lie on your side in a hospital gown. The ultrasound probe will be slid down your throat and into the esophagus until it is near the heart. The device will create active images of the heart. When the imaging is done, the probe will be taken out.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
There may be some mild discomfort during the procedure. Most people sleep through the procedure and remember very little of it. Your throat may be sore for a few days.
You will need a ride home from the procedure. Do not eat or drink until the numbness in your throat wears off. This will keep you from inhaling food or drink into the lungs.
Talk to your doctor about the results of the test.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
Sore throat does not subside or worsens
Pain in the throat or chest develops
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
General ultrasound. Radiology Info—Radiologic Society of North America website Radiology Info website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=genus. Updated May 30, 2016. Accessed March 2, 2018.
Hilberath JN, Oakes DA, Shernan SK, Bulwer BE, D'Ambra MN, Eltzschig HK. Safety of transesophageal echocardiography. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2010;23(11):1115-1127.
Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Transesophageal-Echocardiography-TEE_UCM_441655_Article.jsp#.WpmUfWrwZxA. Updated October 13, 2017. Accessed March 2, 2018.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.