Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Select An Article

Heart Disease and the Echocardiogram

Font Size

What Should I Do to Prepare for a Transesophageal Echocardiogram?

Before a transesophageal echocardiogram, tell your doctor if you have any problems with your esophagus, such as hiatal hernia, swallowing problems, or cancer.

On the day of a transesophageal echocardiogram, do not eat or drink anything for six hours before the test. Take all of your medications at the usual times, as prescribed by your doctor. If you must take medication before the test, take it with a small sip of water.

If you have diabetes and take medication or insulin to manage your blood sugar, please ask your doctor or the testing center for specific guidelines about taking your diabetes medications before the test.

Someone should come with you to your appointment to take you home, as you should not drive until the day after the test. The sedation given during the test causes drowsiness, dizziness, and impairs your judgment, making it unsafe for you to drive or operate machinery.

What Happens During the Transesophageal Echocardiogram?

Before the transesophageal echocardiogram, you will be asked to remove dentures. An intravenous line (IV) will be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand so that medications can be delivered during the test.

A technician will gently rub three small areas on your chest and place electrodes (small, flat, sticky patches) on these areas. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph monitor (ECG or EKG) that charts your heart's electrical activity during the test.

A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm to monitor your blood pressure during the test. A small clip, attached to a pulse oximeter, will be placed on your finger to monitor the oxygen level of your blood during the test.

A mild sedative (medicine to help you relax) will be given through your IV. Because of the sedative, you may not be entirely awake for the test.

An ultrasound probe (viewing instrument) will be inserted into your mouth, down your throat, and into your esophagus. This won't affect your breathing. You may be asked to swallow at certain times to help the ultrasound probe pass into your esophagus. This part of the test lasts a few seconds and may be uncomfortable. Once the probe is positioned, pictures of the heart are obtained at various angles. You will not feel this part of the test.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure