A transesophageal echocardiogram, also referred to as TEE, is a special ultrasound examination using a specialized scope called a TEE probe that incorporates an ultrasound transducer. The probe is inserted into the patient's esophagus, which anatomically is immediately behind the heart. From this vantage point the different cardiac structures are seen more clearly and in more detail. A TEE may be be useful in these situations: In order to pass the TEE probe into the esophagus, the throat is first sprayed with a local anesthetic. Light sedation may also be given.
Although rare, complications that can occur with transesophageal echocardiography include: Abraham Salacata, MD, FACC