At Cross County Cardiology – Mount Sinai, we use the most up-to-date diagnostic techniques. A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a minimally invasive type of diagnostic ultrasound. It can provide a clear image of the heart and the blood vessels that lead to and from it. A TEE is considered an invasive procedure. To perform this procedure, doctors insert a transducer into the mouth, down the throat, and into the esophagus behind the heart. The transducer produces ultrasound waves, which produce clear and detailed images that are not blocked by the ribs and lungs.
What to Expect
TEE procedures are performed in a hospital while you are under conscious sedation. It takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes to complete, and you can return home afterward. There is very little risk from the procedure and you will receive medications to calm you and numb your throat. You may experience a minor sore throat for a day or two after the test.
TEE images provide more detail than standard echocardiogram images. This is especially true in the upper chambers of the heart and the valves that connect them to the lower chambers. TEE can help us diagnose many types of heart disease. We often use them when we suspect you might have valvular heart issues (such as mitral valve regurgitation or aortic stenosis). We also use TEE if you are being treated for atrial fibrillation with electrical cardioversion. It can be combined with Doppler and Duplex color ultrasound to evaluate blood flow across the heart’s valves.