Cardiac Stress TestBronx, NY
Although most people trust that their heart is working as expected, medical tests can measure the true function of the cardiovascular system. These diagnostics can help with employment cardiac clearance, or issues like rapid heartbeat or exhaustion with activity. A cardiac stress test involves walking on a treadmill while the doctor steadily increases the activity level to measure the rhythms of the heart and the individual's blood pressure.
Cardiac stress tests are available at KezMed Medical PC in Bronx and the surrounding area. When a person experiences chest pain, this test can provide more information about potential cardiac concerns. Other diagnostic procedures often follow a stress echocardiogram so the doctor can create a comprehensive treatment plan for heart health issues.
In cardiac clearance stress tests, the goal is to make sure it is safe for the person to undergo surgery or otherwise endure rigorous activity. Call us at 646-216-1270 to schedule an appointment and receive a cardiac stress test today.
Reasons for a Cardiac Stress Test
The reasons for a cardiac stress test can include:
- Learning more about the level of heart function, including the heart valves
- Diagnosing coronary artery disease or heart conditions that may be causing lightheadedness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or other symptoms
- Attempting to predict a patient’s risk level for a stroke or heart attack
- Determining whether a person is at risk for heart failure
- Verifying that it is safe for a person to exercise or work a physically demanding job
- Determining the recommended course of treatment for an existing heart condition
What To Expect During the Test
Before a cardiac stress test, we will review the patient's medical history and current condition. Once we gather information on the patient's health, we will then conduct the cardiac stress test. The information will help to guide the settings for the test. We will also check the heart and lungs for potential issues that may arise.
To prepare for the test, we will place electrodes on the arms, legs, and chest, shaving the area if necessary. These electrodes lead to an ECG machine to record the heart's electrical signals. We will also fit the patient with a blood pressure cuff, and breathing may be tested, starting with resting measurements before the test.
We will increase the speed and difficulty of the treadmill gradually. We will do this until either reaching a target heart rate or the person is unable to continue exercising due to fatigue. The patient may need to stop due to chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or other symptoms. If patients feel discomfort or pain, they can stop walking at any time. Most people are done taking a stress test within about an hour and can return to daily routines shortly after.
Results and Follow-Up Testing
When a stress test shows abnormal results or results are normal. However, the patient still experiences symptoms, the doctor may recommend a nuclear stress test. This screening provides more comprehensive information about heart function. If we diagnose any signs of coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, or other cardiac issues, a follow-up angiogram or other imaging tests will be necessary.
Proactive management can help improve outcomes and decrease the risk of complications for those diagnosed with cardiac conditions. Screening also provides the peace of mind of knowing it is safe to work and exercise vigorously. Contact KezMed Medical PC at 646-216-1270 to schedule an appointment for a stress test.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a cardiac stress test safe?
According to the Mayo Clinic, this noninvasive diagnostic procedure carries few risks. However, medical personnel will be on hand to handle any emergencies that arise during the test. Some individual patients may experience low blood pressure or cardiac arrhythmia during or after an exercise test. In rare cases, a heart attack can occur with overly vigorous activity.
How should I prepare for a cardiac stress test?
Follow your doctor's instructions about test preparation. You should wear comfortable clothes and walking sneakers. The doctor may recommend avoiding caffeine, food, beverages, or certain medications for several hours before the test. Do not apply skin lotion or perfume before your test and bring an inhaler if you use one.
What if I have diabetes and need a cardiac stress test?
Talk to your doctor about how much insulin you should take before your test. Avoid eating and taking blood glucose medication until after the test is complete. Bring your glucose monitor so you can check your sugar levels before and after exercising.
What if I am unable to exercise?
When a person needs a cardiac stress test but cannot physically exercise, other options are available. The doctor may recommend a nuclear stress test or echocardiogram to receive. With a nuclear stress test, the person receives medication to elevate the heart rate instead of walking on a treadmill.
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