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Dr Chris Steadman is an NHS and Private Consultant Cardiologist working in Poole and Bournemouth, Dorset, England.

Transoesophageal Echocardiogram

A transoesophageal echocardiogram involves an endoscope equipped with an ultrasound transducer.

A transoesophageal echocardiogram is similar to an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (where a camera is used to examine the food pipe and stomach).

This test differs as the endoscope for a transoesophageal echocardiogram is equipped with an ultrasound transducer rather than a camera. The endoscope is passed through the mouth into the food pipe. Here it sits very close to the heart allowing detailed ultrasound images of the heart to be seen.

This test is particularly useful for examining heart valve function in more detail, looking for small heart structures and assessing for blood clots within the heart chambers.

The test is performed using sedation and local anaesthetic spray in the back of the mouth.