Transesophageal Echocardiogram



A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a variation of the echocardiogram performed in patients where a traditional echocardiogram may not have provided enough information.

transesophageal ultrasound with Doppler mode

What you can expect

The process of a TEE procedure involves the following:

  1. Before the procedure, it’s important to avoid eating for six hours; daily medications are usually taken with sips of water.
  2. As the procedure starts, you’ll be given a topical spray to numb your throat and be placed under heavy sedation to avoid discomfort during the test.
  3. During the procedure, your doctor will use an echotransducer, a device that produces high-frequency sound waves, and place it down your food pipe (esophagus) to look closely at your heart valves and chambers to check for abnormalities.
  4. Since heavy sedation is used for this test, you’ll be required to have a responsible person accompany you home, restricted from driving for the remainder of the day, and told to take it easy at home.


After a TEE, most people often feel groggy for a few hours and have a sore throat that can be treated with lozenges. Small risks are associated with this test, including reaction to the sedative, or rarely, loss of a tooth, damage to the throat or esophagus, or difficulty breathing.