Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)

Transesophageal Echocardiogram, sometimes called a “T-E-E”, uses sound waves to produce real-time images of the size, shape, movement, and blood flow of your heart. In this study, the pictures are taken from inside your throat and stomach area, which will let your doctor see your heart structure and function. This test is often done to get close-up pictures of your heart’s valves, chambers, and other structures. This test can also be done during a cardiac surgery to assist in the repair of cardiac valves.

What to Expect During the Test

A nurse will help you to prepare you for this test. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and an IV (intravenous) line will be placed in your arm. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your upper arm and a small tube will be placed under your nose to provide oxygen. Your doctor or nurse will spray your throat with a medicine to make your throat numb. Then, you will be given medications by vein to make you comfortable; you may fall asleep during the test.

To take the ultrasound pictures of your heart, your doctor will insert a long, thin tube into your mouth and throat, which will pass down toward your stomach.

You should plan to be in the hospital for a total of four to five hours.

After the Test

You may experience a sore throat for several hours after the test. If your throat pain lasts longer than a day or if it worsens, call your doctor. If you experience severe pain or shortness of breath, call your doctor and 911, or go to the nearest emergency room for help.

Preparing for Your Test

  • Transportation: Make arrangements for transportation to and from the test. You will NOT be able to drive yourself after the testing.
  • Food and Drink: Do not eat or drink after midnight prior to your appointment.
  • Medications: Please consult with your physician if you should hold any of your medications before taking this test. If allowed to take medications, please take them with small sips of water.
  • Clothing: Wear a shirt that can be easily removed while you wear your skirt or pants. One-piece clothing and dresses are not recommended. A hospital pajama top will be provided.
  • Check-in Time: Please arrive two hours prior to your scheduled appointment.

Appointment and Pre-Registration Required

Call the Queen's Pre-Registration Department at 808-691-4770 three days before your scheduled test to update your registration. Please have your medical insurance cards ready for verification.