What is Cardiac Stress Test?
Doctors perform a non-invasive Cardiac Stress Test to evaluate heart function during exercise. The patient walks on a treadmill or cycles on a stationary bike, while connected to an ECG machine that monitors heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG as exercise intensity increases.
Doctors perform a Stress Test to evaluate how well the heart functions during exercise and to detect any potential issues with blood flow to the heart. They also use it to diagnose coronary artery disease, assess the effectiveness of heart disease treatment, and evaluate the patient’s overall fitness level.
Although the length of the Stress Test can vary, it usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour to complete. During this time, healthcare professionals prepare the patient for the test and continuously monitor their heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG before, during, and after the exercise.
Healthcare providers typically instruct patients to abstain from eating, drinking, or smoking for a few hours before a Stress Test. Moreover, patients should avoid certain medications, caffeine, and strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours before the test. Following the healthcare provider’s instructions is crucial to ensure an accurate assessment during the Stress Test.
While A Stress Test is generally safe for most patients, healthcare providers should note that there is a small risk of complications, such as chest pain or an irregular heartbeat. In such instances, the provider performing the test can quickly treat these minor complications.
Healthcare professionals will monitor the patient after the Stress Test to ensure their heart rate and blood pressure return to normal. Patients can usually resume daily activities right after the test unless their healthcare provider advises otherwise. The cardiologist will review and discuss the results with the patient, determining if further treatment or testing is necessary.