COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Transesophageal Echo

Purpose of The Test

A transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a semi-invasive procedure. It is used to take two-dimensional pictures of the heart and its surrounding structures.

Patient Instructions


  • Do not eat for 6 hours before the test.
  • If you have diabetes and take insulin, ask your primary care doctor about your diet before the test.


  • Take all medicine as directed. Bring them with you to this test.
  • Do not take anticoagulation therapy (i.e., coumadin) the morning of the test. You will have a blood test before your TEE.

Test Time

  • Plan for 4 to 5 hours.

The Test

  • We will ask you to sign a consent form giving us the go-ahead to do the test.
  • Once in the test room, you will lie down on a table or bed. Usually, we will place you on your left side with your head slightly elevated.
  • We will insert an intravenous line (IV) into your arm or hand.
  • You will receive a mild sedative through the IV to increase comfort and decrease anxiety. We will use topical anesthetic on the back of your throat.
  • We will monitor your blood pressure, heart rhythm and oxygen level.
  • If you wear dentures, you will need to remove them before the test.
  • We will place a thin probe into your mouth. You may experience a cough or gag sensation. We will ask you to swallow the probe.
  • The probe will travel down the esophagus to the level of the heart. We will then talk you through the rest of the test.
  • The test takes 15-30 minutes.

After the Test

  • In the recovery area, a nurse will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level and return of your swallowing reflex.
  • You may feel a mild sore throat. This is temporary and will go away.
  • Do not drive for 12 hours after the procedure.
  • Recovery time is 24 hours.