Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) Offered at Mercy in Baltimore


An echocardiogram is a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart. Four different types of echocardiograms are shown; transthoracic, doppler, stress and transesphageal echocardiogram.

The highly skilled cardiologists of The Heart Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland, use Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) in the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. Transesophageal Echocardiogram test results are helpful in the development of a comprehensive cardiac care plan.

What is Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)?

Transesophageal Echocardiogram is a test that uses high frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to show a detailed picture of the size, shape and motion of the heart and its blood vessels at work. A thin, flexible  tube passed into the esophagus transmits sound and echo patterns to a special television monitor. TEE is usually performed under mild sedation.

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How is a Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) performed?

Transesophageal Echocardiogram is an outpatient procedure done in the hospital. You will be given special instructions ahead of time about eating, drinking and any medications you may be taking.

A special spray will be used to make your throat numb. Small patches (EKG electrodes) will be placed on your chest so that an EKG monitor can be used during the test. Medicine to help you relax will be given through an intravenous (IV) needle in your hand or arm. Then the doctor will guide a thin, flexible tube through your mouth and down into the food tube (esophagus). A special probe (transducer) on the end of the tube will collect data to create images of your heart in action.

When enough pictures have been made the probe and tube will be removed. A short period of recovery will follow until you no longer feel sleepy.  Your doctor will evaluate the test findings and discuss them with you either at this time or during a later appointment.

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When is Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE) the best option?

A regular echocardiogram uses a hand-held device on the chest surface to produce images of the heart’s size, shape and motion. When this does not provide a clear enough picture for accurate diagnosis, TEE may be necessary. The probe used in TEE can be placed in a part of the esophagus near the heart so that very detailed images can be created. Transesophageal Echocardiogram is useful in the evaluation of conditions such as heart arrhythmias, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart defects and valvular heart disease.

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