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British Heart Foundation
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TOE for mitral valve investigation.

Hi everyone. Has anyone else had trouble having a TOE to look at the mitral valve? I know my Cons is keen to get the pics, but he's never been able to get the camera down. He's even tried a small, paediatric one. I've also been heavily sedated. But apparently I fight! Any ideas or experiences would be v interesting. Thanks.

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Hi Kristin - oh, dear! It might be worth having a conversation about other scans like CT or MRI if a TOE isn't working for you...there won't be as much risk of you fighting!

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Thank you, Chris. I have had MRIs. Would a CT scan be more of a substitute for a TOE?

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Possibly - it depends what exactly they're looking for. Might be worth discussing to see if it's an option for you

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Hi Kristin, I have had several TOES and never had a problem as I was always heavily sedated. But my new cardiologist said that the sedative slows down the heart rate so the test doesn't give a true result, she put the camera down whilst I was fighting it and I was retching during the whole procedure - an awful experience!

My next test is CT angiogram so maybe that could be an option for you to explore with your consultant.

Best wishes

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Sounds really ghastly. I don't know how anyone manages it!

That's v interesting about the sedative. I'm seeing the Consultant soon, so will discuss the CT alternative with him. Many thanks for your ideas. V useful.

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Hi Kristen 1812 I had the the same problem with a toe they tried twice and I kept telling them and got really worked up because no one was listening to me in the end they had to do the toe before the surgery

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I'm so pleased others have had this problem! So did they do yours after you were anaesthetised for surgery?

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Yes they had to I'd had one done a few yrs back to look at my stomach for reflux so I new how bad they where. But as no one would listen to me the nurses and the docs that was doing the toe I got worked up then got acussed of getting high rate with them all. So the surgeon decided to do the toe before the op

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Hi Paulo. Sounds like the best option for you,, in the end. Result!

I wish theyd listen. Last time, I flung the camera out of my mouth, as they tried to get it down. The Dr watched his £40,000 worth of equipment flying through the air.

Not to be repeated!

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Haha the docs didn't get that far with me as he put his fingers in my mouth first and I gagged so he didn't bring his camera near me otherwise I'd of done the same thing

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I guess I was lucky cos I had no problem with my TOE apart from the initial swallow and I didn't have a sedative. The doc said he'd never had someone so relaxed without a sedative! Guess years of meditation has some uses! Hope they manage to sort something else out for you as it will stress you out even more if they try again because you know how it felt the first time.

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I've had several TOEs, but all done by a specialist technician - not sure what her job description was. She spends a lot of her time doing that particular technique. The first time I managed without sedation (just concentrated on thinking about the Suffragettes!). The second time I was very breathless so had a sedative. On a couple of later TOES they automatically gave me the sedative and it was no bother.

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Amazing how differently we all react? My husband refused even the throat spray before his endoscopy, because he hated its banana taste!

He was fine too.

So unfair!

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