Suited to a TEE
New technology available at Beth israel Deaconess Medical Center is making it easier for doctors to train on a simulator before trying a common procedure used during cardiac surgery.
If you have ever seen a doctor about a heart-related issue, chances are you have had an echocardiogram. The most common form of the test involves a technician placing an ultrasound transducer on your chest and getting a shadowy look at your beating heart, its chambers and valves.
But the ultrasound beam during a standard echocardiogram must penetrate the chest wall and lungs, potentially obscuring the image. In that case, a more invasive procedure, a transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) must be ordered, threading a probe down the throat to take a look at heart structures. In 25 percent of all cases, this exam turns up something that wasn't previously diagnosed.
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