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A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is a type of ultrasound test. Your doctor puts a tube down your esophagus with an ultrasound device that takes a series of moving pictures of your heart. It can show if it makes clots when it pumps blood.
Your esophagus is the tube where food travels from your throat down to your stomach. It’s very close to your heart. So it’s a good spot to get accurate images of its chambers and valves as blood flows in and out.
A TEE can also show detailed pictures of the blood vessels attached to your heart and its outer lining (pericardium).
The test uses a small echocardiogram transducer, which uses sound waves to measure your heart’s rhythm as it beats. It’s placed on the end of a long, thin, soft tube called an endoscope.
Your doctor may use a TEE to see how blood flows through your heart’s valves. Along with AFib, it may help diagnose:
You may also need a TEE to check how well your heart works during or after surgeries like a bypass, valve replacement, or valve repair. Your doctor may also use it to check for blood clots before an AFib treatment called cardioversion.
Electrophysiology studies (EPS) are tests that help doctors understand the nature of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
During EPS, doctors insert a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel that leads to your heart. A specialized electrode catheter designed for EP studies lets them send electrical signals to your heart and record its electrical activity.
Doctors use EPS to see:
During an EPS, about 3 to 5 electrically sensitive catheters are placed inside the heart to record electrical activity.
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