All About Transesophageal Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is a procedure that is carried out in multiple ways. One method is called transesophageal echocardiogram. Basic echocardiogram is a procedure that attempts to outline the movement of a patient’s heart with the help of high – frequency sound waves. In transesophageal echocardiogram this process is carried out by a procedure in which the ultrasound transducer is fitted in an endoscope and then inserted inside the patient’s body through the throat into the food pipe called esophagus. The endoscope is a thin, flexible and long device that has a small camera inserted through which the doctor is able to get a view of the patient’s inside.

The transesophageal echocardiogram is a higher degree of the echocardiogram and is used when other procedures fail to give proper results. The transesophageal echocardiogram helps doctors in getting a better view of the heart’s chambers and valves without having to worry about the lungs or ribs interfering. The transesophageal echocardiogram test is often carried out along with other tests like the Color Doppler and the Doppler ultrasound that helps in further diagnosing the flow of blood in the heart’s valves.  The transesophageal echocardiogram is the most common procedure carried out by doctors when they need to evaluate the overall functioning of a patient’s heart valves and chambers.

The transesophageal echocardiogram is really effective in diagnosing many kinds of heart diseases like valve disease, pericardial disease, myocardial disease, congenital heart disease, infective endocarditic and many others. Other doctors perform transesophageal echocardiogram to assess how well a valve surgery went. Others perform transesophageal echocardiogram to check out for any abnormalities in the left atrium. Before transesophageal echocardiogram test is conducted, patients are advised not to eat anything for at least 6 hours prior the procedure or drink for 2 hours before the procedure.

Before carrying out transesophageal echocardiogram test, patients are given a sedative that will help them feel at ease and not feel any pain. Sometimes they are not even fully awake while transesophageal echocardiogram is being conducted. The transesophageal echocardiogram test takes around 90 minutes to complete. Once the patient is fully awake from the sedative he or she is allowed to go home. Patients are advised to bring someone along before the transesophageal echocardiogram test so that they don’t have to drive home on their own. After one hour of the test patients are allowed to start drinking and eating again.

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