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Heart & Vascular Institute

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)

Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)


What is transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)?

A transesophageal echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart and its blood vessels. The test shows the size and shape of the heart and how well heart chambers and valves are working.

Why is your doctor ordering TEE?

TEE helps your doctor see areas of your heart and valves that may not be functioning well and determine many types of heart disease. TEE can also detect blood clots inside the heart.

What to expect

During the TEE procedure, a small, flexible probe with an ultrasound camera at the end is placed into your esophagus (food pipe). The esophagus lies behind the heart, so ultrasound images of the heart muscle and valves are seen more clearly.  You will be given sedation and carefully monitored. It takes about a half hour to get the images, but plan on spending about 4-5 hours at the hospital.

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