When it comes to discovering more about your heart, lots of tests are available. In certain scenarios, exercise stress testing is necessary. At Champion Heart and Vascular Center, we offer exercise stress testing in Dunn, NC. If you’ve never been referred for this type of test before, it may help to learn more about what it involves.
What is an exercise stress test?
During exercise stress testing, the patient exerts themselves while wearing cardiac monitors. The aim is for your doctor to measure how well your heart performs while you’re engaging in physical activity. Additionally, it’ll identify whether the arteries supporting your heart are doing their job.
At the start of your test, you’ll be connected to heart monitors. They’re quite similar to the ones used during an EKG, so they’re nothing to worry about. From there, you’ll begin to walk on a treadmill. Although you’ll start slowly, the person conducting the test will increase the speed gradually to see how well you respond.
After you’re finished, we’ll probably take your blood pressure and measure your heart rate. We may need to do this several times, depending on why you’ve been referred for the test.
If you’re worried that you’ll feel too tired or injure yourself, don’t. We allow you to request to stop the test at any time. The aim is for us to see how well your heart is working, not to push you past your limits.
Why is exercise stress testing needed?
We receive referrals for exercise stress testing for lots of reasons. Some of the most common ones include:
- You’ve been experiencing signs of angina, such as chest pain, feeling dizzy, and shortness of breath.
- Your physician wants to identify a safe level of exercise for your current physical state.
- You’ve recently undergone a procedure to improve your circulation and we’re going to test to see how well it worked.
- We want to predict your chances of experiencing a heart attack.
- We need to diagnose coronary artery disease.
Sometimes exercise stress testing acts as a diagnosis in itself. It may follow lots of other tests from your physician and it helps to complete the clinical picture. For certain conditions, we may need to recommend other tests. While that might seem frustrating, it’s worth remembering that every test you undergo gives your doctor an idea of why you’re experiencing certain symptoms.
Are there any risks associated with a stress test?
We’ll only accept you as a candidate for exercise stress testing if your doctor believes it’s safe for you to try. Before the test begins, it’s worth remembering that your symptoms may be caused by exercise. As a result, moving faster on our treadmill could make them feel worse, but this is only temporary and they should stop after you’ve rested.
Throughout the process, you’ll benefit from cardiac monitoring and we’ll watch you closely. If we suspect you’re reaching the stage where your heart will struggle, we’ll stop the test and record our findings.
How long do test results take?
Although the test results are in front of us on the day, we’re not always the clinicians who interpret them. They’ll usually need to go back to your physician, who’ll read them and make a diagnosis based on whatever else they know about you. Wherever possible, we’ll try to provide a timeline that gives you an idea of how long you need to wait before receiving your results.
At Champion Vascular Care, we use the latest technologies for exercise stress testing. To learn more about our approach, contact us.