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Why Is Your Doctor Recommending A TEE?

Clip Number: 1 of 21
Presentation: Transesophageal Echocardiogram
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Your doctor is recommending a transesophageal echocardiogram of your heart, also known as a TEE. This recommendation is based on your past medical history, physical exam and current symptoms.
With a TEE your doctor can obtain more specific information about your heart than with many other tests. First, a TEE can look at the internal structures of your heart in great detail, including the heart's valves and the major blood vessels. Second, it can also detect abnormalities you were born with, such as heart valve diseases or heart muscle damage. And third, if you have a history of stroke, your doctor may have requested this test to look for the source of blood clots.
To briefly describe the procedure, during the TEE your doctor will place a narrow, bendable tube through your mouth and down your esophagus, or food pipe. The tip of the tube will send out painless sound waves that echo inside your chest cavity. The echoes are used to create a computerized image of your heart that appears on a video screen for your doctor to examine.

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