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How to Prepare for a Cardiac Stress Test

How to Prepare for a Cardiac Stress Test

A cardiac stress test is a diagnostic procedure to identify problems with your heart. If you’re having heart palpitations or chest pain, the providers at Chinatown Cardiology may schedule you for this type of test so you can get the treatment you deserve. We offer stress electrocardiograms, stress echocardiograms, as well as myocardial perfusion imaging stress tests to evaluate various cardiac conditions.

You might also need a cardiac stress test before surgery or as part of your care plan for an existing cardiac condition to ensure your treatment is working.

For your convenience, cardiac stress tests are available in our Chinatown, Flushing, and Brooklyn offices.

Ahead of your visit, our skilled cardiology team provides guidance to help you get ready for your test. Here’s some insight into what to expect before and during your cardiac stress test:

Preparing for your cardiac stress test

Prior to your cardiac stress test appointment, you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for at least three hours. You also need to avoid smoking and consuming anything containing caffeine for at least 24 hours, or your test results may not be accurate.

If you take medication for an existing health condition, we can review your prescriptions and recommend what medications you may need to avoid before your test.

On the day of your stress test, wear comfortable, loose clothing and walking shoes. Leave your jewelry and other personal items at home. 

What to expect during a cardiac stress test

During a cardiac stress test, you’re asked to walk on a treadmill. We connect sensors to different parts of your body to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. Your provider gradually increases the speed and incline of the treadmill to raise your heart rate.

If you’re not able to participate in a treadmill test, because of pain or physical issues, we can inject you with a vasodilator medication that increases your heart rate in the same way. Instead of walking, you can rest comfortably while the medication does the work.

You’re monitored throughout your cardiac stress test. If at any time you feel uncomfortable or unable to keep walking, let us know, and we can stop the test.

After you undergo the cardiac stress test, we can either perform an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, or nuclear imaging.

After your test, your provider reviews your results and discusses options for treatment if needed. You can go back to your usual activities without any limitations or downtime afterward.

Results of your stress test

A cardiac stress test can reveal information about your heart health and function. We can also use this test to identify the cause of symptoms like:

If the test confirms you have an underlying heart issue like coronary artery disease or arrhythmia, your provider customizes a care plan. You may need additional cardiac testing to determine what treatments are right for you.

Don’t put off a diagnostic evaluation for shortness of breath, chest pain, or other heart-related symptoms. Call Chinatown Cardiology at one of our convenient locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, or book an appointment online today.

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