What is it?

A trans-oesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) is performed via an ultrasound transducer, or probe, from the oesophagus (food pipe) and is performed in an operating room by a cardiologist. This test takes approximately 40 minutes.

For any patient enquiries please speak to your cardiologist or contact Mildura Cardiology by phone (03) 5023 8111.

Procedure Information

What to bring

+ Any concession cards including Medicare and private heath fund cards.

+ All current medication in its original packaging.

* For all procedures requiring overnight stays, please ensure you bring with you night attire, including dressing gown, non-slip slippers and toiletries.


+ Patients are required to fast for 6 hours prior to the procedure.

+ Patients need to organise transport to and from the hospital and are not permitted to drive for 24 hours following procedure


A transoesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) is an ultrasound of the heart performed from a probe passed into the oesophagus (food pipe) under a light anaesthetic. The test will be performed in an operating room by a Cardiologist. A local anaesthetic will be sprayed to the back of your throat. An Anaesthetist will insert an intravenous needle through which a general anaesthetic will be give. You can expect to be asleep for perhaps 20 minutes during which time the test will be performed. You will be observed in recovery area for several hours afterwards.

Public patients will undergo this procedure at the Mildura Base Hospital, while those patients with private health fund insurance will be accommodated at Mildura Health Private Hospital.


Patients undergoing a trans-oesophageal echocardiogram will be required to stay overnight with discharge being the following day.

* It is important to discuss with your Cardiologist instructions for dressing removal and wound care. Once the dressing(s) has been removed it will require little care. Keep clean and dry and avoid using powder. Check wound daily and report any possible signs of infection to your Cardiologist promptly.

+Your cardiologist will discuss a time for a follow up appointment (Usually within a week or two).

+ You will be discharged with the appropriate medications.

+ Please discuss any limitations or restrictions directly following your procedure and any medication changes with your Cardiologist.

+ If you have travelled from regional or remote centres, your Cardiologist may advise you to stay in Mildura for 2-3 days following your procedure.

Depending on your procedure, time and recovery you will be discharged the same day or early the next morning provided you’re accompanied by an consenting adult. Your cardiologist will arrange a follow up appointment prior to discharge.

For 24 hours following procedure, it is recommended you do not;

+ Drive a vehicle

+ Travel on public transport

+ Drink Alcohol

+ Sign important documents

+ Use heavy machinery


Although serious problems are rare, as with any medical procedure there are always some risks involved. Every effort is made to minimise your risk, though should complications arising from you procedure occur, emergency equipment is readily available.

Exact risks vary from patient to patient, however, some symptoms that may occur include;

Haematoma (Bruising and swelling)

It is usual for most patients to have bruising and tenderness at and around the catheters insertion point for a few days following procedure.


Infection is rare, however if infection does occur it is usually contained to the area of skin overlying the catheter insertion point. Any infection will be treated with the appropriate antibiotic.

Allergic reaction to dye

A dye, or ‘Contrast’ is used to enable the coronary arteries to be seen using x-ray. Minor reactions can result in hives and rare occasions where a dramatic fall in blood pressure is evident, shock. Risk to patients with no previous reaction to contrast dyes extremely low. Inform your Cardiologist if you have had any previous reaction to contrast mediums.

Acute Closure or rupture of coronary artery

In rare cases, coronary angioplasty can cause the artery to become completely blocked or rupture. In this situation an emergency coronary artery bypass operation would be performed.

Heart Attack

In extreme cases, patients may endure cardiac arrest during this procedure. Rest assured your Cardiologist is well prepared to deal with this situation.