BACKGROUND

A Transesophageal Echocardiogram is a specialized cardiac ultrasound that is used to assess the hearts structure and function.

 

A Transesophageal Echocardiogram is a diagnostic test used to view the structures of the beating heart. In this procedure, a transducer is passed through the mouth and into the esophagus, which lies behind the heart. The transducer then sends images of the heart to a monitor. This imaging process is called an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to create moving pictures of the structures of the heart such as the chambers and valves. It can also evaluate blood flow and pressures within the heart with a special technique called Doppler Echocardiography.

results can be discussed with your cardiologist

Procedure Information

How do I prepare for TOE?
Check with your doctor. He or she may ask you not to have alcoholic drinks for a few days before the test, and not to eat or drink anything for at least 4 to 6 hours before TOE. Because you receive a sedative to help you stay calm, someone should drive you home after the test.

What happens during TOE?
Specially trained cardiologist perform TOE. It’s usually done in a hospital or a clinic and lasts 30 to 60 minutes.

What happens after TOE?
Your throat may be numb for a short time. Don’t eat or drink anything until the numb feeling goes away — you could choke.

What should I watch for?
If your sore throat gets worse or doesn’t go away after a few days, call your doctor.

Risks/Benefits

What risks are involved in a Transesophageal Echocardiogram Procedure?

Transesophageal Echocardiograms are performed routinely.  It is a common and very low-risk procedure. However, should a complication arise, it will be dealt with at once.

 

Common risks and complications (5% of more) include:

Uncommon risks and complications (1-5%) include:

Rare risks and complications (<1%) include: