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Recent Transesophageal Echocardiography & Vomiting That Looks Like Coffee Grounds? Here's What You Need To Know

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If you've recently had a transesophageal echocardiography to check if you have Lyme carditis and are currently vomiting what looks like coffee grounds, there's no doubt you are likely quite a bit concerned. Seems after all the times you've spent getting properly diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease, you end up with yet another thing wrong. Fortunately, this complication isn't difficult to diagnose or treat, but it's a good idea to head to a medical clinic for a proper diagnosis and evaluation. Here's what may be happening that is causing what looks like coffee grounds in your vomit. 

Transesophageal Echocardiography & Risk of Mallory-Weiss Tears

To get the best look at your heart as possible, your cardiologist used a transesophageal echocardiography, which as you know placed a transducer (microphone) down your esophagus. Your cardiologist should have informed you of the risks of this procedure, which includes Mallory-Weiss tears

A Mallory-Weiss tear due to an antecedent transesophageal echocardiography (which simply means the tear happened after the test procedure) typically heals on its own; however, if you have been taking blood thinners for a heart condition, you may need to have further testing and treatment, if necessary. The reason for this is because your blood is unable to coagulate properly in order to allow the bleeding to naturally stop. Treatment can involve the insertion of a clip via an endoscope to close the tear to stop the bleeding.

Mallory-Weiss Tears & Coffee Ground Vomitus

The blood in your stomach is what is causing your nausea, vomiting and the appearance of coffee grounds in your vomit. The coffee ground-like substance is really oxidized iron from your blood. The darker the substance is the longer it has been in your stomach. However, the ground-like texture itself may resemble more of a finer espresso ground than regular coffee grounds if you are on blood thinners. The reason for this is because the coagulation of the blood is what causes the blood to clump together and form into what looks like coffee grounds.

As odd as this sounds, it's a good idea to capture some of the substance in a napkin, if at all possible. That way, you can show the physician at the medical clinic to help in the diagnosis of a Mallory-Weiss tear and to determine the coagulation capability of your blood. Of course, you will need to undergo more medical tests, which will likely include an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy due to the likelihood that your current medical issues are due to the recent transesophageal echocardiography you had. 

For more information about transesophageal echocardiography, reach out to a medical clinic near you.