Why Getting A Stress Echocardiography Is So Important

In case you weren’t aware, stress echocardiography tests are also known as echocardiography stress tests, or stress echo tests. The stress echocardiography test is a procedure that determines how well your heart and blood vessels are working. During any stress echocardiography, you will be required to exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill while a doctor monitors your blood pressure and heart rhythm. Roosevelt Cardiology offer the best Stress Echocardiography in Queens.

Our experts have the technology and expert cardiologists to provide you with the best possible care for your heart. Getting a stress echocardiography test done can be very important and in some cases, potentially life saving at times. Here are some of the reasons why (the following facts and information have been gathered from MedLine.Gov):

How & Why Is This Test is Performed?

Any stress echocardiography test is typically done at a medical center or health care provider’s office much like our facility here at Roosevelt Cardiology. A resting echocardiogram will be done first. While you lie on your left side with your left arm out, a small device called a transducer is held against your chest. A special gel is used to help the ultrasound waves get to your heart. Most people will walk on a treadmill (or pedal on an exercise bicycle). Slowly (about every 3 minutes), you will be asked to walk (or pedal) faster and on an incline. It is like being asked to walk fast or jog up a hill.

In most cases, you will need to walk or pedal for around 5 to 15 minutes, depending on your level of fitness and your age. Your provider will ask you to stop:

  1. When your heart is beating at the target rate.
  2. When you are too tired to continue.
  3. If you are having chest pain or a change in your blood pressure that worries the provider administering the test If you are not able to exercise, you will get a drug such as dobutamine through a vein (intravenous line). This medicine will make your heart beat faster and harder, similar to when you exercise.

Your blood pressure and heart rhythm (ECG) will be monitored throughout the procedure. More echocardiogram images will be taken while your heart rate is increasing, or when it reaches its peak. The images will show whether any parts of the heart muscle do not work as well when your heart rate increases. This is a sign that part of the heart may not be getting enough blood or oxygen because of narrowed or blocked arteries.

Keep In Mind

The test is performed to see whether your heart muscle is getting enough blood flow and oxygen when it is working hard (under stress). Your doctor may order this test if you:

  1. Have new symptoms of angina or chest pain.
  2. Have angina that is getting worse.
  3. Have recently had a heart attack.
  4. Are going to have surgery or begin an exercise program, if you are at high risk for heart disease.
  5. Have heart valve problems.

The results of this stress test can help your provider:

  1. Determine how well a heart treatment is working and change your treatment, if needed.
  2. Determine how well your heart is pumping.
  3. Diagnose coronary artery disease.
  4. See whether your heart is too large.

How Will The Test Feel & What Are Typical/Healthy Results?

Electrodes (conductive patches) will be placed on your chest, arms, and legs to record the heart’s activity. The blood pressure cuff on your arm will be inflated every few minutes, producing a squeezing sensation that may feel tight. Rarely, people feel chest discomfort, extra or skipped heartbeats, dizziness, headache, nausea or shortness of breath during the test.

A normal test will most often mean that you were able to exercise as long as or longer than most people of your age and gender. You also did not have symptoms or concerning changes in blood pressure and your ECG. Your heart pictures show that all parts of your heart respond to increased stress by pumping harder. A normal result means that blood flow through the coronary arteries is probably normal. The meaning of your test results depends on the reason for the test, your age, and your history of heart and other medical problems.

Some Parting Advice

When it comes to getting your stress echocardiography test done, you should remember not to eat or drink for at least 3 hours beforehand. You should also wear loose or comfortable clothing to ensure you are optimally relaxed beforehand. Keep in mind, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the test as well. If you have any questions or concerns going into your stress echocardiography test, you should express those concerns to your medical professional in person or over the phone. The experts here at Roosevelt Cardiology have an open door policy to all of our patients when it comes to any questions or concerns. We hope your medical professional(s) do as well. If they don’t? Maybe it’s time to try our doctors instead!

We hope these tips help you and your family!

If you’re in need of a stress echocardiography test, or you have some general questions or concerns? Don’t be shy! Roosevelt Cardiology offers the best cardiology services and care in all of Jackson Heights Queens, New York. Call the experts here at Roosevelt Cardiology today to schedule your next stress echocardiography in Queens, New York (718) 942-9355