Transesophageal Echocardiography
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
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Transesophageal Echocardiography Overview

Written by FoundHealth.

Definition

Echocardiography uses sound waves (ultrasound) to make images of the heart. In transesophageal echocardiography, the ultrasound probe is passed down the throat in the esophagus, or food pipe. The esophagus sits very close to the heart. This method allows for clearer images of the heart than other methods.

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

  • 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.

Anesthesia

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?

15-30 minutes

Will It Hurt?

There may be some mild discomfort during the procedure. Most patients sleep through the procedure and remember very little of it. Your throat may be sore for a few days.

Post-procedure Care

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. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.

Talk to your doctor about the results of the test.

References

RESOURCES:

American Heart Association
http://www.americanheart.org/

Heart Disease
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index-eng.php/

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/

References:

Griffin BP, Topol EJ. Manual of Cardiovascular Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Willkins; 2004.

Niedermeyer J, Daniel WG. Value of transesophageal echocardiography in diagnosis of diseases of native heart valves. Herz. 1993;18(6):329-340.

Pascoe RD, Oh JK, Warnes CA, Danielson GK, Tajik AJ, Seward JB. Diagnosis of sinus venosus atrial septal defect With transesophageal echocardiography. Circulation. 1996;94:1049-1055.

 
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