Two forms of non-invasive echocardiography diagnostics are available at St. Mary’s Heart Center.
A transthoracic echocardiogram is a non-invasive test. During the procedure, a wand (transducer) sends sound waves to the heart as it is moved over the patient’s skin on the chest area. Images of the front and sides of the heart are produced.
Transesophageal Echocardiography (Tee)
An ultrasound technique in which a probe, about as large as a pinky finger, is placed in the esophagus to “look” at the heart from behind. Transesophageal echocardiography is much more sensitive than transthoracic (across the chest) echocardiography, as overlying structures (bone and lungs) do not obscure the view. This technique requires sedation in almost all cases.