Perform a detailed assessment of the heart (cavities, valves).
Approximately 2 hours.
If the exam is scheduled for the morning (before 12:00 p.m.), patients must be in a fasting state from midnight the night before, meaning they cannot consume any liquids or solid foods.
If the exam is scheduled for the afternoon (after 12:00 p.m.), medication can be taken in the morning with a bit of water. Very small amounts of water, juice and food can be consumed but must be stopped at least four hours before the exam.
Also, patients must be accompanied, as they cannot drive a vehicle after the exam.
Bring a full (updated) list of medications.
Laboratory staff will explain the exam step by step. After a local anesthetic is applied to the throat with a lubricating jelly, specific medications are administered to help the patient relax. An echocardiography probe (a thin flexible tube) is introduced into the patient's mouth and then descended into the esophagus (the tube through which food passes). Ultrasound images are then taken for approximately 5 to 15 minutes.
Once this step is finished, the probe is removed. The medical team will then keep the patient under observation for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.
The patient must remain fasting (no liquids or solid food) for 2 hours after the exam. Patients cannot drive on the day of the exam.
Patients may experience mild throat pain for 24 to 48 hours after the exam.
Patients will be followed by their treating physician.