What is a cardiac/exercise stress test?
A stress test, sometimes called a treadmill test, helps a doctor find out how well your heart handles work. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more oxygen so the heart must pump more blood. The test can show if the blood supply is reduced in the arteries that supply the heart. It also helps the doctor know the type and level of exercise appropriate for the patient.
How do I prepare for the test?
Do not eat, drink, or smoke for 4 hours before the test. Wear loose clothes suitable for exercise, such as lightweight pants or shorts and a shirt. Wear socks and footwear with rubber soles, such as walking, jogging, or tennis shoes.
How is the test performed?
We will ask you take off your shirt so we can apply electrodes to your chest to monitor your heart. Then we will ask you to walk slowly on a motorized treadmill. We will increase the speed and tilt the treadmill to produce the effect of going up a small hill. (Your doctor may decide to have you use a stationary bicycle for the test.)
After the test, you will sit or lie down to have your heart and blood pressure checked.
Is the test safe?
It’s similar to quickly walking or jogging up a big hill. Healthy people face very little risk from the test. Medical professionals are always present in case something unusual happens during the test.
When will I receive my test results?
Your doctor will be present and will discuss the results with you before you leave.
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