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A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) is a diagnostic ultrasound test to look at the valves of your heart.

What happens during TTE?

TTE is painless and takes about 15-30 minutes. You will be asked to lie on your back or your left side. A technician may apply patches called electrodes to your chest or legs. These record your heart rate. A clear gel will be spread on your chest. The gel helps to transmit the sound waves to a probe. A probe is pressed onto your skin and moved it back and forth over the chest. The scan will appear on a monitor.

Although ultrasound images can be very difficult to read and interpret, you are welcome to view the images during the scan. You may be asked to take deep breaths or to move into different positions to get different images.

Going home after TTE

An transthoracic echocardiogram is usually performed in an outpatient area meaning you can go home shortly after the test is complete. In some cases the technician may talk to you about the results. The results will also be sent to your GP or consultant. Be sure and ask how long you should expect to wait for the results before you leave.

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