During a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) test, an ultrasound transducer (which produces high frequency sound waves) provides images of the heart's valves and chambers and helps a physician evaluate the pumping action of a patient's heart.
The ultrasound transducer is positioned on an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2" in diameter.) The endoscope is placed into the patient's mouth and passed into the esophagus (the "food pipe" which leads from the mouth to the stomach) to provide a close look at the patient's heart's valves and chambers.
Prior to the test, a cardiac sonographer, nurse or physician will explain the procedure in detail. They will be available to answer any questions that the patient may have. An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into a vein in the patient's arm or hand so that medications can be delivered as necessary. The nurse will connect the patient to various monitors. The patient will be given a solution to gargle. This solution will numb the throat. The doctor will put medication into the IV to help the patient relax and feel as comfortable as possible during the test. The patient may feel drowsy. Once the probe is in position, images of the heart will be taken from various angles. The patient will not feel this portion of the test. Because of the sedative, the patient will not be entirely awake. Heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen level of the patient's blood will be closely monitored during and immediately after the exam.
The New England Heart Institute at Catholic Medical Center helps to ensure high quality patient care. Every aspect of our Echocardiography Lab has been evaluated using the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission’s (IAC) Standards for Echocardiography Accreditation. This evaluation includes case studies and is reviewed by the IAC Echocardiography Board of Directors, which granted the AVH Echocardiography Lab accreditation. What does this mean for you? AVH remains committed to maintaining the highest quality of care for you and your loved ones. Featuring Dr. Daniel van Buren, the only NEHI-Cardiologist in the North Country, our facility provides clinically advanced care, right here in Berlin.
Transesophageal echocardiograms are completed routinely, close to home at AVH. For more information, please call (603) 326-5847.