This is a diagnostic method that uses the same principles described for Transthoracic Echocardiography, with the difference that the transducer, which is the element that allows images to be acquired, has a different design and instead of being positioned on the chest wall, it is inserted into the patient’s esophagus and stomach through the mouth. This location of the transducer allows animated images of the heart to be obtained with higher resolution, due to the proximity between the heart and the esophagus.
This technique, considered non-invasive, is complementary to the transthoracic echocardiogram, providing similar but more detailed information on certain structures within the cardiac cavities, being especially useful for evaluating the presence of masses (thrombi and tumors) within the heart, and in the evaluation of congenital and acquired abnormalities of the heart that are not seen in detail on transthoracic echocardiography.
To carry out the exam, an anesthetic spray is administered to the throat, the patient lies down to be examined on a stretcher and electrodes are attached to her chest that conduct the electrocardiographic signal to be continuously displayed on the echocardiograph screen during the entire procedure. study time.
The specialist then inserts the probe into the patient’s mouth and into the esophagus, where the desired images can be captured. This procedure has an estimated completion time of 20 to 30 minutes and its potential risks are few.
We currently have the most advanced technology available worldwide, which allows evaluating the heart in two dimensions (2D) and in three dimensions (3D) in real time using one or several heartbeats (4D); providing much more reliable, precise and reproducible information on the form and function of normal and abnormal cardiac structures, with special application to the evaluation of heart valves, tumors or cardiac masses or holes within the heart, allowing the complete visualization of the normal and abnormal structures, showing their shape, location, and size. This new technology makes it possible to diagnose diseases of the heart valves and some of their structures, guiding advanced techniques for percutaneous repair, using catheters, without the need for surgery.