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Trans-Esophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

Dr. Maddahi may prescribe that you receive trans-esophageal echocardiography (TEE) ultrasound when he needs a clearer picture of the heart chambers, arteries, or valves than a standard ultrasound can provide. This test is performed by a physician specially trained to administer the scan. Dr. Maddahi may order a TEE ultrasound after other tests indicate a heart condition — TEE offers a clear picture that can confirm a diagnosis.

How Does It Work

A TEE is a special kind of ultrasound. Unlike a standard echocardiogram, which is done outside your chest, a TEE is done inside your esophagus. In the case of a TEE ultrasound, the transducer (wand) is contained in a small tube. This tube is passed down through your esophagus. The esophagus is close to the heart and allows Dr. Maddahi to clearly understand the heart’s structure and function.

Why Is It Done

Your doctor will be able to see your heart in much greater detail with a TEE than with a standard echocardiogram. That’s because ultrasound waves can travel through your ribs and create a clearer picture of your heart, making it ideal for confirming a diagnosis. A TEE can help your doctor diagnose several heart conditions, such as aortic stenosis, mitral stenosis, atrial septal defects, patent foramen ovale, and cardiac tumors.

A TEE can help your doctor do the following:

  • Look for problems with the valves of your heart
  • Check for problems with the walls of your heart
  • Check for leaks in your heart valves
  • Check for clotting in your heart
  • Check how well your heart is pumping

What to Expect

Contact our office for instructions to prepare for your TEE ultrasound. We will provide instructions that are tailored just for you. We ask that you tell our office about any medications (prescription or over-the-counter) you are taking. We will also need to be advised of any medical devices or implants you may use. Dr. Maddahi will advise on continuing medications, special precautions for devices, and if fasting is recommended.

You will receive a sedative during this test, so you should bring someone to drive you home. The test takes about 45-60 minutes. We will spray your throat with a numbing agent. You will also have an IV started to give you a mild sedative. You will have electrodes on your chest to record your heartbeat during the test. Once your throat is numb, the physician will thread a thin tube through your mouth and ask you to swallow as he passes it down your throat.

The transducer sends sound waves down to your heart, which are converted into pictures — this part of the test only lasts 10-15 minutes. Once completed, the physician will remove the tube and electrodes. As a top heart doctor in Los Angeles, Dr. Maddahi and his staff will work to make your experience easier. Your images are recorded and analyzed by Dr. Maddahi. If any abnormalities are found, Dr. Maddahi will prepare a plan to get you on the right track for a healthy heart.

The entire procedure will take about 30 minutes. After the TEE, you’ll be taken to a recovery area, where you’ll be monitored for a short time. Since you’re given sedation, you should have someone else drive you home. The side effect of a TEE scan is a mild sore throat for a couple of days. This contrasts greatly with the side effects of surgery prevented by our cutting-edge equipment.

Technology Replaces Unnecessary Surgery

Cardiologist in Los Angeles

Top heart doctor Dr. Maddahi is always improving the techniques of heart care, saving his patients the pain and suffering of heart disease. With the latest technology in his Los Angeles practice, he can look at your heart and avoid surgery to confirm conditions. Our Los Angeles office is constantly updating our tools so that you can take advantage of the latest advances in medical technology. Call us with any questions or concerns you have about your test.

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