Your cardiologist conducts Transoesophageal Echocardiograms in hospital using an echocardiograph machine. A Transoesophogeal Echocardiogram is performed under sedation and is generally well tolerated.
This procedure is similar in theory to that of the trans-thoracic (or standard) echocardiography except that it required insertion of an ultrasound probe into the oesophagus down to the stomach. The procedure usually only lasts for few minutes and carries little complications.
Transoesophageal Echocardiography provides a much better image of the heart as the ultrasound beams do not need to pass through the skin, fat and lung before scanning the heart. This method is particularly useful for the imaging of the valves of the heart, the aorta and septal defects.
TOE Procedure – What happens?
You will not be allowed to eat for four hours prior to the test. You will be lightly sedated (put to sleep) to facilitate the insertion of the probe. During this time, your cardiologist will conduct the tests.
‘Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.’