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Heart Beating in the Esophagus

Did you know that your heart and esophagus bump into each other all day? It is a little crowded in your chest. The esophagus (foodpipe) travels behind your trachea (windpipe) to carry food down into your stomach. Along the way, it makes contact with your heart. This is a short video that illustrates the view your doctor has during a gastroscopy examination. Here in the middle part of the esophagus (foodpipe) you can clearly see each heartbeat as the wall of the heart bumps into your esophagus with every stroke.

As an aside, the fact that the heart touches the esophgaus is used by heart specialists to examine the heart more clearly during a test called transesophageal echocardiogram, or T.E.E. This test is performed with sedation much like a gastroscopy exam but the T.E.E. scope has a heart echo machine built into the tip of it. Normally, a heart echo test is done with the probe on the outer chest wall. T.E.E. provides much clearer pictures since the probe can be postioned down the esophagus and much closer to the heart.

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Heart Beating in the Esophagus


Text & Images Courtesy of Three Rivers Endoscopy Center
© Dr. Robert Fusco, Three Rivers Endoscopy Center, All Rights Reserved

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