Transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE)

What is a TOE?

A transoesophageal echocardiogram is an alternative way to perform an echocardiogram. A specialised probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip is passed into the oesophagus, via your mouth.

Why do I need a TOE?

The images gained from putting the specialised probe down the throat makes it possible for the Cardiologist to achieve much better images of your heart.

Will I feel anything during the TOE?

You will be given sedation before your TOE. This will be through an IV leur (a “drip”), which will be placed in your arm or hand before the procedure. Local anaesthetic liquid will be sprayed down your throat as well.

Some people notice slight throat discomfort after their TOE. If this happens, you can take throat lozenges or mild analgesic, i.e. Panadol.

How long will the TOE take?

The TOE will take 10 – 20 minutes. Because you will receive sedation, you will need 1 – 3 hours to recover in the hospital afterwards.

Is a TOE the same as a TEE?


How do I prepare for the TOE?

You will need to stop eating and drinking 6 hours before the procedure.

Your routine medications can be taken with a sip of water prior to your procedure.

Can I have a support person with me during my TOE?

Yes. Also, will need someone to drive you home following the procedure, as you will not be able to drive for at least 12 hours following your TOE.

How long before I get the results of the TOE?

Your Cardiologist will discuss the results of the TOE and review your medications.

What if the TOE is positive (if there is something wrong with my heart?)

Your Cardiologist will discuss this with you, and what the next step should be for you. Also, a report of the findings will be sent to your GP.

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Ascot Hospital, Level 3
90 Greenlane East
Remuera, Auckland 1051
PO Box 17264,
Greenlane, Auckland 1546

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