Learn more about transesophageal echocardiography (or TEE)

At Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa in Mesa, AZ, our cardiologists have access to the latest technologies in diagnostics and treatments for the heart. We educate our patients on the various devices and diagnostic tools used in our practice, including TEE, or “transesophageal echocardiography.”

What is TEE?

TEE is a special diagnostic testing solution used to take pictures of the heart using high-frequency ultrasound waves. These detailed images of the heart and arteries allows the cardiologists in our practice to evaluate the heart’s structures and valves to diagnose a range of heart health conditions. While similar images can be provided with a traditional echocardiogram, the images from TEE are much more detailed due to the transducer being passed through the mouth to get it closer to the heart. These accurate images give doctors the opportunity to check the function of the heart, as well as see many parts of it, including the valves, outer linings, blood vessels, muscles, and chambers.

When might TEE be used?

TEE is sometimes used to replace standard echocardiograms in several situations. The TEE diagnostic tool provides clearer images of the heart and surrounding areas than more traditional means, allowing the cardiologists to evaluate the heart’s structure and function better. Additionally, TEE might be used on patients who have thick chest walls, are obese, are on ventilators to help the patient breath, or if there are bandages on the chest.

Are there risks to having TEE used for diagnostic testing?

TEE has very few risks associated with it. Patients may experience a sore throat for a few days following, due to the insertion of the ultrasound device through the mouth. Medications can be taken prior to calm a patient and to numb the throat to keep the patient from gagging. In very few instances, there is a slight risk of esophageal bleeding, but this is minor and can be addressed with our expert team.

Learn about diagnostic treatments and services available at our Mesa, AZ area practice

At Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa, we are committed to assisting men and women in our community who are interested in improving their heart health. If you reside in the area and want to work with experienced cardiologists in our state-of-the-art practice, we welcome you to book an appointment by calling (480) 641-5400 and visiting the office at 6116 East Arbor Avenue.