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Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)


What is it?

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.

What do I do?

● Do not eat or drink anything 6 hours before the test.
● Coumadin/Warfarin patients should stop Coumadin/Warfarin for seventy-two (72) hours prior to 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.

What will happen?

● 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.

How long does it take?

The entire test takes approximately twenty (20) minutes, but expect to stay in the laboratory for sixty to ninety (60-90) minutes total duration.

Post Procedure Instructions:

● You will not be able to eat or drink anything for three hours following the test unless directed differently by the physician. This is necessary so the sedation and numbness of the throat wear off and there will be no problems swallowing.
● After three hours, if COLD fluids are taken without any problems, then you are permitted to resume eating.
● Mild throat soreness for several hours after the test is normal and will resolve. Cough drops may be used to help soothe the soreness.
● Do not drive or operate heavy machinery for at least 12 hours after the test.

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