How It Feels
Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) and Doppler echocardiogram
You will not have pain from the echocardiogram. Gel is put on your chest for the ultrasound. It may feel cool. The handheld ultrasound device is pressed firmly against your chest, but it does not cause pain. You will not hear or feel the sound waves.
You may feel uncomfortable from lying still or from the transducer pressing on your chest. If you need to take a break, tell the technician.
Most people do not experience any discomfort from ultrasound tests. But if you have severe Reference difficulty breathing Opens New Window or cannot lie flat for a long examination, you may not be able to have an entire echo study. Talk to your doctor or the technician performing your echo about any concerns you have.
Dobutamine stress echocardiogram
- You may have a brief, sharp pain when the intravenous (IV) needle is placed in a vein in your arm.
- If medicine to stress your heart is used, you may have symptoms of mild nausea, headache, dizziness, flushing, or chest pain (angina). These symptoms only last a few minutes.
Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
During the test
- You may notice a brief, sharp pain when the intravenous (IV) needle is placed in a vein in your arm.
- The anesthetic sprayed into your throat may taste bitter and will make your tongue and throat feel numb and swollen. Some people report that they feel as if they cannot breathe at times because of the probe in their throat, but this is a false sensation caused by the anesthetic. There is always plenty of breathing space around the probe in your mouth and throat. Remember to relax and take slow, deep breaths.
- You may gag and feel nauseous, bloated, or have mild belly cramps when the probe is moved. If the discomfort is severe, alert your doctor with an agreed-upon signal or a tap on the arm. Even though you won't be able to talk during the procedure, you can still communicate.
- The IV medicines will make you feel sleepy. Other side effects—such as heavy eyelids, trouble speaking, a dry mouth, or blurred vision—may last for several hours after the test. You probably will not be able to remember much of the test.
After the test
- You may have a tickling, dry throat; slight hoarseness; or a mild sore throat. These symptoms may last for 2 to 3 days. Throat lozenges and warm saltwater gargles can help relieve these symptoms.
- Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours.
- Contact your doctor
immediately if you have:
- Difficulty swallowing or talking.
- Shortness of breath or a fast heartbeat.
- Chest pain.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 9, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference George Philippides, MD - Cardiology