How To Prepare continued...
If you have dentures or dental prostheses, you may need to remove them before the test.
If you have medical problems involving the throat, esophagus, or stomach, tell your doctor before getting this test.
Before a TEE, you will be given a sedative. You will not be able to drive for at least 12 hours after the procedure. Be sure to make arrangements in advance for someone to pick you up after the test.
Before an echocardiogram, you may be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
An echocardiogram may be done in a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office. It can also be done at your bedside in the hospital.
You will need to remove any jewelry and clothes above your waist (you may be allowed to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the test). You may be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the test.
A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE), Doppler echocardiogram, and stress echocardiogram are performed by a specially trained ultrasound technician. A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is performed by a cardiologist with the help of assistants.
You may receive an IV so you can get medicine during the test. The IV can be used to give you a contrast material, which helps your doctor check your heart function. A contrast material may be used if it is difficult to get good views of your heart. A good view might be hard to get because of certain conditions such as obesity or chronic lung disease.
Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and Doppler echocardiogram
You will lie on your back or on your left side on a bed or table. Small pads or patches (electrodes) will be taped to your arms and legs to record your heart rate during the test. To learn more, see Electrocardiogram.