What is a TEE?
A Transesophageal Echo-cardiogram, better known as a TEE, is a test that examines the structures of the heart. It does this by using a special transducer attached to a gastroscope that is passed through the esophagus into the stomach. The transducer is positioned behind the heart and images are produced on a video screen for the Cardiologist to examine. This test can give more information and clearer images for certain portions of the heart than what can be obtained with the more common Transthoracic Echo-cardiogram.
What will the images/ pictures show?
The images produced will allow the Cardiologist to examine the position, size and movement of the heart walls and chambers. It also provides your physician with valuable information about the heart valves and aids in the possible location of thrombus blood clot) within the heart. Other abnormalities can be detected with a TEE such as: narrowed or leaky heart valves, heart wall aneurysms, aortic dissection, cardiac masses and congenital abnormalities. These images are created when the transducer emits sound waves that bounce off the body's internal structure.
How is it done?
Upon arrival, you will change into a patient gown and an IV (intravenous) will be started in your arm. Several electrodes (small sticky patches) will be placed on your chest. A blood pressure cuff and an oxygen saturation clip will also be in place to monitor you throughout the TEE. You will be asked to remove any dental appliances and to identify any caps or any loose or missing teeth. The Cardiologist will spray the back of your throat with a numbing medicine and then place a small plastic bite block in your mouth to protect your teeth and the probe. You will be positioned comfortably on your left side. Sedation medications will be given to you through the IV (intravenous) during the procedure. You may become sleepy, but you will not be "knocked out".
The lubricated end of the ultrasound probe is then passed through the bite block and gently advanced down the esophagus and then toward the stomach.
The Cardiologist will ask you to swallow several times to advance the probe/scope.
This probe is then gently positioned to obtain the necessary pictures/information.
The procedure takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. When the examination is complete, the Cardiologist will withdraw the probe and the bite block.
You will continue to be monitored for an additional 1 to 2 hours and then you will be discharged home with a responsible adult.
You may not drive for 24 hours.
How do I prepare?
- Bring all of your signed doctors' orders and referrals with you.
- Bring a list of your medications with you.
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the test.
*Especially no CAFFEINE or ALCOHOL and no TOBACCO the day of the test.
- Should I take my medication the day of the test?
Consult the Cardiologist performing the test about your medications.
How long does it take?
Allow 2 to 3 hours for your stay.
How will I get the results?
The physician performing the test will review the results with you.
Please Note: If the results of your test need to be sent to an ordering physician that does not practice at Doylestown Hospital, you will need to provide the physician's full name, address and if possible, FAX number. You may provide this information on the day of your visit or call 215-345-2231 Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.