What is a TEE (Transesophageal Echocardiogram)?

A transesophageal echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to produce images of the heart. The ultrasound transducer is placed in the esophagus (food tube) which is close to the heart. This allows for very clear pictures of the heart and its structures.

For your safety DO NOT eat or drink anything 6 hours before your test.

take your regular medications with a sip of water.

An escort must be available to pick you up from the test. You MUST NOT drive yourself home.

For any other questions or additional information, please contact the department where your test is taking place:
(204) 787-3937 Health Sciences Centre
(204) 235-3805 St. Boniface Hospital

Who does the test?

The test is done by a physician with special training in echocardiography. You will be monitored by a nurse. A cardiac sonographer will also be present.

What happens during the test?

You will be asked to remove clothing from the waist up, put on a hospital gown and lie on a stretcher.

An intravenous line will be started in your arm and you will be given a mild sedative to help you relax.

Your heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure will be monitored throughout the procedure and you will be given extra oxygen through your nose.

Three electrodes (small, sticky patches) will be placed on your chest and connected to an EKG monitor on the ultrasound machine. You may also be connected to an EKG monitor before and after the procedure.

You will be given a throat spray to numb the back of your throat.

You will be asked to lie on your left side with your head tilted slightly forward.

A mouth guard may be inserted into your mouth to protect your teeth from the probe.

The doctor will guide the lubricated tip of the transesophageal probe into your mouth and you will be asked to swallow.

The nurse may remove excess saliva from your mouth with a suction device (similar to the one used at the dentist).

Ultrasound images will be taken and then the probe will be removed.

How long will the test take?

The test will take approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours (though the probe will only be in place in your esophagus for approximately 15-20 minutes).

After the test

You may feel drowsy

Have a family member or friend plan to stay with you for 3-4 hours.

Your throat will feel numb. Do not eat or drink anything until the numb feeling is gone (this will take approximately 1 hour).

The doctor who ordered the test will receive the results and review them with you.
Please make sure that you know which hospital/clinic your test is scheduled as it is done at several locations throughout the city.

Developed by: Lauren Toni BA, RDCS, WRHA Cardiac Sciences Program