1. Transesophageal echocardiogram may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. The patient will need to stop eating for at least 4-6 hours before the test.
2. The patient will be connected to an electrocardiogram monitor that records the electrical activity of the heart and monitors the heart during the procedure using small, adhesive electrodes. The vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and oxygenation level) will be monitored during the procedure.
3. A sedative is given through an intravenous (IV) line to help with relaxation and the throat is sprayed with an anesthetic to "numb" it.
4. A probe is passed through the mouth and into the esophagus. It is carefully moved until it is positioned directly next to the heart. Once the probe is in the right place, the images will be obtained. After the necessary images are obtained, the probe will be removed from the throat.
5. Transesophageal echocardiogram examination generally lasts 30-45 minutes.