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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Echocardiogram

Overview

This test, which we call an "echo," makes images of your heart. It shows more detail than we see with an x-ray. It lets your doctor see how your heart beats. It can reveal problems within your heart.

Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE)

The most common type of echo test is called a "transthoracic echocardiogram." We say "TTE." For this test, electrode stickers are put on your chest so your heart can be monitored. Then, an instrument called a "transducer" is moved around your chest. It sends high-frequency sound waves into your chest. When they bounce back, they are used to make an image.

Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)

A less common type of echo test is called a "transesophageal echocardiogram." We say "TEE." With this test, the echo transducer is in a long, thin probe. You're given medicine to make you feel relaxed and numb, and the probe is guided down into your esophagus. Then, it releases sound waves inside your body. This helps your doctor get even clearer images of your heart.

Conclusion

After your echocardiogram, the images of your heart are reviewed. You may have a followup appointment with your doctor to talk about any treatment you may need.