Echocardiography uses ultrasound to look at your heart. The test provides pictures that enable your doctor to evaluate the valves and chambers of the heart as well as the way your heart moves and the way blood flows through it. If the images from the echo are unclear, your doctor may choose to perform a transesophageal echo (TEE), which uses ultrasound to look at your heart through a scope placed into your esophagus.
Transesophageal Echo (TEE)
This test uses ultrasound to look at your heart through a scope placed into your esophagus. This allows a doctor to see your heart in more detail and diagnose problems that may not be seen on a standard echo. An IV will be started by a nurse in order for sedation medication to be given. A spray will also be used to numb the back of your throat. You will go to recovery and be monitored for a while after the test.
This test uses both stress testing and echo imaging to view how the heart muscle contracts during rest, at peak exercise and during the recovery period after exercise. During the test you will also have your EKG and blood pressure monitored. You will have resting echocardiography, and then walk on a treadmill to raise your heart rate to an appropriate target rate. Immediately after reaching peak exercise, echocardiography will again be performed to assess your heart function. If for some reason you are unable to walk on a treadmill, a medication will be given to get you to peak exercise.