A transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) is an ultrasound of the heart that is performed by a cardiologist via the oesophagus.

A TOE is similar to an endoscopy except the probe used takes ultrasound pictures of the heart.
Preparation

You will be asked to fast for 8 hours prior to the procedure. You will need to arrange to be picked up from hospital after the procedure.

How is it done

You will be admitted to the hospital for the day, as you will be given a sedative. A local anaesthetic spray is used to numb the throat and an anaesthetist will give you a sedative that should help you not remember the procedure. The cardiologist will then place a probe down your throat that will rest in your oesophagus.

Ultrasound images are taken from various places in your oesophagus and stomach. You are usually able to go home on the same day, however, you must ensure that you have someone to drive you, as you will not be allowed to drive until the next day. Your cardiologist will arrange a review to discuss the TOE results.

Duration

45 minutes.