Early detection of a heart condition can save your life. At Sunnyvale Cardiology in Sunnyvale, Texas, cardiologists Prasad Maddukuri, MD, FACC, MRCP, Saleem H. Mallick, MD, FACC, and Larry Moore, MD, FACC, use stress tests to evaluate your heart’s function and diagnose or treat heart conditions to prevent complications, such as a heart attack or stroke. Call Sunnyvale Cardiology to schedule a stress test or book an appointment online today.
A stress test, also known as an exercise stress test or stress echocardiogram (ECG), measures how well your heart handles physical activity as it pumps faster and harder during exercise. Stress tests detect heart conditions, some of which can be serious or life-threatening.
Your provider uses a stress test to:
Certain heart problems are easier to detect when you’re physically active. Your doctor might give you special medicine to make your heart beat harder and faster if you’re not healthy enough to exercise.
You might require a stress test if you experience the following symptoms associated with heart problems:
Your doctor may also recommend a stress test before you begin a new exercise program or if you’ve recently had heart surgery, are being treated for heart disease, had a heart attack in the past, or are at risk of heart disease.
Follow your doctor’s instructions the day before and the morning of your stress test. Wear comfortable clothing and exercise shoes and bring an inhaler if you use one.
When you arrive for your stress test, be prepared to exercise on a bike or treadmill. Your doctor asks questions about your symptoms and current exercise regimen, and listens to your heart and lungs. He or a technician places sticky patches containing electrodes on your legs, arms, and chest to record electrical signals that trigger heartbeats.
You walk, jog, or bike while your provider monitors your heart. You wear a blood pressure cuff and might breathe into a special tube during your test, as you gradually increase the intensity of your workout. You can stop the test at any time you feel too uncomfortable to continue. Stress tests can take about an hour, which includes prep time.
If you’re unable to exercise for health reasons, your doctor gives you a medication that increases blood flow to your heart to simulate exercise.
Your cardiologist uses results from your stress test to diagnose a heart condition, determine an appropriate treatment, or establish safe exercise guidelines. If you experience symptoms of a heart problem, schedule an appointment with Sunnyvale Cardiology by phone or online today.