Phone: (02)9540 8555


Transoesopageal Echocardiography (TOE)

Understanding How the Heart Works:

TOE is used to obtain detailed images of the heart with high frequency ultrasound. It is performed under sedation and is generally well tolerated. This procedure requires the insertion of an ultrasound probe into the oesophagus. The procedure usually takes 10 minutes and has few complications, less than 1/5000 chance of damage to the oesophagus. Oxygen saturation and blood pressure are carefully monitored until you are fully alert. Swallowing is then supervised before discharge.

Your Appointment:

  • Following your visit to your Cardiologist the secretary will schedule a booking at the earliest time available.
  • A detailed letter of confirmation will be sent to you detailing your instructions.
  • You will be required to phone the Clinic the day before your procedure between 12pm and 3pm for your admission time and any further instructions regarding fasting and medications. For Monday procedures call the prior Friday.
  • If you have any special dietary needs let the Clinic know e.g. vegetarian or gluten free.
  • Please inform the secretary if you need an interpreter preferably at least a week before your procedure.


You will be required to fast for 6 hours prior to your procedure. Fasting means no food or water including tea and coffee. You may have a sip of water with medications.


No special requirements – shower or bath as per usual.


You may be asked to omit some of your medications on the morning of your procedure. If you are a diabetic patient ask for specific advice when booking in.


What to bring with you


  • Your appointment schedule and any other pertinent papers we have sent you
  • Health insurance details, Medicare card, Veteran affairs details if applicable or Worker’s Compensation Third Party details including insurance claim numbers
  • X-rays and pathology results
  • A list of your current medications
  • Items to pass the time, such as reading material, knitting, crosswords etc
  • Reading glasses
  • A small overnight bag and toiletries in case a stay in hospital is required
  • Referral letter /s
  • Do not wear nail polish

Procedure Time

The TOE should take approximately 30 minutes.


Length of Stay

You will be admitted to the Clinic on the morning of your procedure. Following your procedure you will be required to stay 2-3 hrs. If you are having a Cardioversion as well you will be required to stay four hours.


Your immediate family or carers can see you after the procedure when you are up and walking around. The staff will advise you of the time your family can collect you.


Secure lockers are provided for your belongings, however please do not bring large amounts of cash or valuables with you on the day.


For patients and Visitors the Public Car park costs $4 per day (coins are needed).

Relatives and Friends .

are welcome to wait at the Clinic but cannot go in with the patient once they are called for their procedure. Our staff are happy to answer any of your enquiries and will give you an estimated discharge time.

Please note that Sutherland Heart Clinic is part of a tertiary referral centre and at times we are required to undertake emergency procedures as a priority. This may at times lengthen your stay at the clinic.

Treatment Report

If the doctor who carried out your procedure was not the doctor who referred you then a full report of findings and recommendations will be forwarded a few days after the procedure to your doctor.

Quality Assurance

We are committed to maintaining high clinical standards. Your feedback is important to us and you may receive a follow up phone call regarding your experience and progress.

Health Insurance Coverage

Sutherland Heart Clinic has contracts with all private health insurance funds. Sutherland Heart Clinic is a NO GAP facility. Please confirm details with us and your fund prior to your procedure. If you have an excess or co-payment on your health insurance cover then you may incur some out of pocket expenses.

What You can Reasonably Expect while in our Care:

You are entitled to be treated with care and dignity. You are entitled to a clear explanation by your doctor of:

  • Your condition, problem or disease.
  • Any planned treatment or investigation.
  • Any alternative procedures available.
  • Possible side effects, the chances of success and any serious risks involved.

By presenting yourself to the Clinic you have implied general consent for treatment. However for specific procedures and for patients who may be having a general anaesthetic you will be required to give written consent after suitable information is given. You may withdraw your consent and refuse further treatment at any time. You have the right to know the identity and professional status of the individuals providing service to you. Staff employed by the Clinic are required to wear identification badges. You have the right to privacy when undergoing any treatment or procedure. Sutherland Heart Clinic respects and upholds patient rights to privacy protection under the National Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988. The National Privacy Principles apply to the Clinic from their introduction on December 21st 2001.

The Clinic has in place a Personal Information and Privacy Policy which outlines how the Clinic:

  • Collects your health information
  • What we do with it
  • The quality and security of your data
  • Your rights to access and correct information

You may access our Privacy Policy at anytime whilst at the Clinic.
You should expect the clinic environment to be safe and comfortable.

Your Responsibilities:

Try to be well informed about your condition and treatment. Please ask questions if you do not understand something. You have the responsibility to provide, to the best of your knowledge, accurate and complete information about your present condition, past illnesses, hospitalisations, medications and any other matters relating to your health.
It is in your interests to comply with the prescribed treatment or care and the pre and post operative instructions. You will be responsible for your own actions if you do not follow the prescribed instructions or refuse medical treatment. You should attend the recommended follow up appointments, or advise those concerned if this is not possible.
It is your responsibility to provide accurate details of your Medicare information and/or private health insurance. Please show consideration for other patients, staff and property of the Clinic. By complying with your responsibilities you are helping us help you.

If a Problem Arises:

Please tell your Doctor or the Nurses if a problem arises, in most cases they will be able to help you. Should you not receive a satisfactory outcome you should request to see the Director of Nursing for clinical issues or the Office Manager for administrative issues. They will investigate your complaint and advise you of the outcome or of options if further action is required.
If you wish to take your complaint further you may utilize the following options:

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman
Suite 1201, Level 12, St Martin’s Tower
31 Market Street
Telephone: (02) 9261 5855 Toll Free: 1800 640 695

NSW Health Care Complaints Commission
Level 13, 323 Castlereagh Street
Telephone: (02) 9219 7444

Director General NSW Health
73 Miller Street
Telephone: (02) 9391 9000