In this Article
- Echocardiogram definition
- Why do I need an echocardiogram?
- What are the types of echocardiograms?
- How should I prepare for the echocardiogram?
- What happens during the test?
- What should I do to prepare for a stress echo?
- What should I do if I have diabetes?
- What happens during the Dobutamine-induced stress echocardiogram?
- What should I do to prepare for the transesophageal echo?
- What happens during the transesophageal echo?
- Find a local Cardiologist in your town
What Should I Do to Prepare for a Transesophageal Echo?
Before a transesophageal echocardiogram, tell your doctor if you have any problems with your esophagus, such as hiatal hernia, swallowing problems, or cancer.
What Happens During the Transesophageal Echo?
Before the transesophageal echocardiogram, you will be asked to remove dentures. An intravenous line (IV) will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand so that medications can be delivered during the test.
A technician will gently rub three small areas on your chest and place electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on these areas. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (ECG or EKG) that charts your heart's electrical activity during the test.
A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure during the test. A small clip, attached to a pulse oximeter, will be placed on your finger to monitor the oxygen level of your blood during the test.
A mild sedative (medicine to help you relax) will be given through your IV. Because of the sedative, you may not be entirely awake for the test.
A dental suction tip will be placed into your mouth to remove any secretions. A thin, lubricated endoscope (viewing instrument) will be inserted into your mouth, down your throat, and into your esophagus. This won't affect breathing. You may be asked to swallow at certain times to help pass the endoscope. This part of the test lasts a few seconds and may be uncomfortable. Once the endoscope is positioned, pictures of the heart are obtained at various angles. You will not feel this part of the test.
When completed, the tube is withdrawn. You will be monitored for about 20-30 minutes after the test, which takes about 10-30 minutes to perform.
Someone will need to drive you home after the test. You should not eat or drink until the anesthetic spray wears off or until the numbness in your throat is gone -- about an hour after the test. Your doctor will discuss the test results with you.
WebMD Medical Reference
The Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute. The National Institutes of Health.
Reviewed by Robert J Bryg, MD on March 07, 2009
Last Editorial Review: 3/7/2009
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