Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)

If a transthoracic echocardiogram doesn’t produce definitive images or you need to visualize the back of the heart better, your doctor may recommend a transesophageal echocardiogram.

In this procedure, the doctor guides a much smaller transducer down your throat through your mouth. The doctor will numb your throat to make this procedure easier and eliminate the gag reflex. The transducer tube is guided through your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. With the transducer behind your heart, your doctor can get a better view of any problems and visualize some chambers of the heart that are not seen on the transthoracic echocardiogram.