Transoesophageal echocardiogram

TOE heart scan

A detailed ultrasound scan of your heart, its chambers and valves

What is a transoesphageal echocardiogram scan?

A TOE is a heart scan, during a TOE, an ultrasound sensor is passed through your mouth and into your gullet (oesophagus) to view your heart. 

The sensor generates moving, real-time images of your heart to help diagnose blood clots and any problems with your heart function, structure or valves.

Need to know

  • What happens during a TOE scan? icon plus

    A TOE usually takes about 20 minutes in the catheter lab. It can be a little uncomfortable so we'll offer you general anaesthetic or a sedative to make you sleepy. The back of your throat will be sprayed with anaesthetic to numb the area.

    When you're ready, you'll be asked to lie on your side. Your consultant will then pass a flexible tube (the ultrasound sensor) through your mouth and into position. The sensor takes real-time images of your heart valves and chambers. These will show up on a screen for your consultant to analyse.
  • How to prepare for your TOE scan icon plus

    Your consultant will tell you how to prepare. It's important to let us know if you're taking any medication as you may need to stop taking it before your scan. You'll be asked to stop eating and drinking for a few hours beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you and answer any questions you have.
  • After your scan icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss your results with you, and let you know if you need further treatment. You should be able to go home on the same day as your scan. Please arrange for someone to travel home with you. Due to the effects of sedation or anaesthetic, you won't be able to drive for the first 24 hours. Make sure you get plenty of rest during this time.

    Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine and activities. They'll also give you advice on medication, exercise, travel, diet and alcohol.

Our cardiac outpatient clinics

Throughout the HCA UK network, we offer clinics that are able to provide a range of cardiac testing on an outpatient basis.

Our cardiac physiology team will welcome you and talk you through what will happen during the test. A number of tests are available with the most common as follows:

Our cardiac locations in London

From complex heart surgery to diagnostic cardiology tests and procedures, we provide exceptional cardiac care across our network of hospitals, outpatients and specialist clinics.

Private TOE scan in Birmingham

Request a cardiac appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced cardiologists. You can contact us by telephone or email.


020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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