LIVEWELL MINUTE: Live 3-D TEE
UnityPoint Health is using a new three-dimensional ultrasound cardiac imaging probe called transesophageal echocardiography or TEE. The technique entails inserting a probe down the patient’s throat and behind the heart to capture ultrasound heart images. The images can reveal the condition of the heart chambers, valves, major blood vessels and heart tissue.
Dr. Craig Clark, M.D. says, “With our new real-time 3D transesophageal, we can generate sharp, high-contrast images of the whole heart and position heart catheters and ablation devices at the same time. It also allows us to view heart valves just as the surgeon will see them in the operating room.”
The probe generates ultrasound at five million vibrations per second, which, combined with the 504 sensors, provides great sensitivity and a sharp image. And because the image is large enough to encompass the whole volume of the heart, fewer pictures need to be taken.
TEE is a safe and fast diagnostic technique. For the first time clinicians can view cardiac function as never seen before. This may shorten patient time in clinics.
Dr. Clark tells us that, “Dynamic 3D echocardiography can provide critical insight into valvular function and allows pre-operative planning when reconstruction is being considered. It is faster and allows for a more complete diagnosis for the patient.”