If you’ve scheduled a cardiac stress test to assess the function of your heart, there are some things you should do to prepare. These steps ensure that your body is ready for testing and that your results are as accurate as possible.
At Chinatown Cardiology in New York City, our specialists provide cardiac stress tests in-office to evaluate how well your heart works under various stress levels.
This diagnostic tool can also help our cardiology team determine if you need additional heart testing to confirm underlying problems.
What to know about cardiac stress tests
The different types of cardiac stress tests all involve monitoring your blood pressure, oxygen levels, and heart rate. They also provide information about the electrical activity in your heart.
Depending on your health, you may need:
Exercise stress test
You walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to raise your heart rate. We can change the speed and incline of the treadmill to see how well your heart pumps blood during physical activity.
Exercise stress echocardiogram
This one works like a standard stress test but also involves an echocardiogram (ultrasound) of your heart. This test provides more details about the structures of your heart and the blood flowing through it.
Nuclear stress test
We use a radioactive dye to assess the blood flow through your heart muscles. After injecting the dye into your bloodstream, we take pictures of your heart before and after you walk on the treadmill.
If you can’t physically exercise, our team can provide medications to increase your heart function as exercise would.
Getting ready for your stress test
Our Chinatown Cardiology team provides comprehensive guidance to help you prepare for the cardiac stress test you need. In addition to this personalized information, we also recommend:
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco
- Don’t eat for 3 hours before your test
- Wear comfortable walking shoes that offer support
- Dress in loose, lightweight clothing
- Don’t consume coffee, soda, or other caffeine products for 24 hours beforehand
Our team can also determine if you need to change how you take daily medications. For instance, you shouldn’t take calcium channel blockers or beta blockers on the day of your test.
It’s also important to stay as relaxed as possible before your cardiac stress test. Feeling anxious during testing might alter the accuracy of your results.
Other tips to prepare for a cardiac stress test
On the day of your stress test, you can shower as usual but avoid applying any lotions or perfumes to your skin, especially your chest.
Many people drive themselves to and from a stress test. However, it can help to have someone come with you to the appointment in case you don’t feel well after exercising.
You should also prepare yourself for your stress test results. If our team finds a potential problem with your heart, we may order additional tests on the same day. We can also discuss any treatments you need to support your heart health.
Call Chinatown Cardiology today at one of our locations in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn to learn more about the benefits of a cardiac stress test, or book your appointment online today.