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What Can I Expect During My Stress Test?

 What Can I Expect During My Stress Test?

The idea of having a problem with your heart can be unsettling. Your doctor suggesting a stress test can be worrisome. Often, though, knowing what to expect can calm any fears.
The providers at Heart & Vascular Institute are thorough. We seek a clear understanding of your heart health to treat existing issues and help you avoid complications. Diagnostic testing, such as a cardiac stress test, helps us create a treatment plan tailored to your needs. 

Reasons for a stress test

Before we talk about what you should expect during a stress test, why might you need one? And what information can the test provide? There are several types of stress test, including: 

Your doctor orders the stress test most appropriate for your condition and most likely to reveal the info they need. All stress tests show how your heart works when you’re physically active.

If you visit our office with shortness of breath, leg pain, chest pain, or heart palpitations, your doctor may order a stress test to learn how your heart works and why you’re experiencing symptoms. 

What to expect

A cardiac stress test requires your heart to work harder than it does when you’re sitting still. That means that sometimes, you need to move; for some people, no exercise is required. 

Stress tests with exercise 

If you’re taking a stress test that involves exercise, we might ask you to walk or jog on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle. You may have an electrocardiogram while you exercise or an echocardiogram before and after you exercise.

An electrocardiogram uses small, sticky leads attached to wires to measure the electrical activity in your heart as you move. An echocardiogram uses ultrasound to create an image of your heart.

A nuclear stress test involves having dye injected into your body that can be tracked using a specialized camera when you’re at rest or exercising. This test allows your doctor to see how your blood moves through your body and heart.

Stress tests without exercise

Some people can’t exercise. If you need a stress test but can’t exercise to raise your heart rate, your doctor can conduct the test using medication to speed up your heart. This type of stress test is safe, with highly trained professionals conducting your test. 

Tips for your stress test

Here are a few things you should and shouldn’t do: 

If you still have questions about stress testing or any aspect of your heart health, schedule an appointment with Heart & Vascular Institute today. Call our office in Dearborn, Detroit, Southfield, or Wayne, Michigan, or book your appointment online. 

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