This is an invasive way to create moving pictures of your heart. The images show the size and function of your heart. A TEE will also show how well your heart’s valves are working; if there is holes in the heart and if there are clots, vegetation or growths in the heart.
This procedure is done at the hospital. Dr. Chatham will spray your throat with a local anesthetic to make it numb. During the test you will be given sedation through an IV to relax you, so it is important that you arrange for a friend or relative to bring you from hospital and stay with you overnight following the procedure. The probe is then placed into your mouth and down the throat (esophagus) to visualize the heart. Because the heart is literally next to the esophagus, the image quality is superior to the echocardiogram from chest wall.
Dr. Chatham has to balance the benefits and risks of the procedure. It is important to talk about this procedure prior to proceeding.
Our goal at CHC is to answer all your questions and alleviate your concerns prior to any procedure.