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Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)


A TEE is a test that uses ultrasound waves to examine the heart from inside your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube leading from your mouth to your stomach and since the esophagus lies just behind the heart, the TEE gives sharper and clearer images than a standard echocardiogram which is performed on the outside of your chest. A TEE is generally ordered when your physician wants to further examine possible problems such as infections, strokes, clots, valve and heart defects, and overall heart function.

What to Expect:

A nurse from Cardiac Diagnostics will contact you the day before your exam and give you instructions for your testing. You will check in through the North Admission Entrance 1 hour before your test is scheduled to begin.

You will change into a gown but can keep your clothes on from the waist down. An IV (intravenous) will be started for medication administration. If you wear dentures or glasses, you will need to remove them before the test starts. A numbing agent will be sprayed on your throat before the start of the exam to allow the probe to be inserted easily. You will be asked to lie on your left side during the procedure. IV sedation will be given to help you relax. Most of the time patients do not remember the procedure at all. You will also receive oxygen through a tube under your nose. Your heart rate/rhythm, blood pressure, respiration and oxygen levels will be monitored throughout the procedure. The procedure itself generally takes only 10-15 minutes to complete but we will recover you for approximately 30 minutes until you are awake enough to be discharged. If a family member or significant other is present, the cardiologist will visit with them about the findings after the test is completed.


  • Scheduled medications may be taken with just enough water to get them down comfortably. Medications to avoid taking are diuretics (water pills). If our staff is able to reach you before your exam, we will review with you what medications should and should not be taken.
  • Bring a complete list of your medications along with any allergies you have to medications or latex products.
  • Make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the test as you may be drowsy from the sedation used. WE CAN NOT ALLOW YOU TO DRIVE YOURSELF HOME.
  • Allow 2-3 hours for your time at the hospital.

Every effort will be made by our staff to contact you prior to test day for explanation of the test and to obtain medical history. If we are unable to contact you and you have questions, please call us at 402-461-5124 to speak to a Cardiac Diagnostics RN. Our hours are 6:30am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Post Test:

  • Discharge instructions will be reviewed with you and your family/significant other.
  • Follow up appointments will be made if indicated.
  • You will not be allowed to drive yourself home.
  • Due to the effects of sedation, someone should stay with you at home until you are fully awake.
  • If you use a CPAP machine you should wear it at home after the procedure if you are sleepy and want to nap.
  • You should not sign any legal documents for 24 hours after your test.
  • Limit your activity the day of the procedure.
  • You will not be able to eat or drink anything for 2 hours after the procedure. The time will be indicated on your discharge instruction form. This allows the numbing medication to completely wear off and you will be able to safely swallow liquid and food.
  • The Cardiologist will notify your primary care physician regarding your results.

Thank you for choosing Mary Lanning Healthcare for your medical needs.

We appreciate your loyalty and confidence in our services. If you have any questions, please contact your physician or a Cardiac Diagnostic RN at 402-461-5124.