If you have chest pain or other symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD), you may need a stress test. Experienced cardiologists Tzy-Shiuan Kuo, MD, and Imam Tjahja, MD, perform in-office stress testing at CardioVascular Institute of South Texas in Helotes, Texas. To schedule your stress test if you’re in the San Antonio area, call the office or book an appointment online today.
A stress test shows how well your heart performs when it’s working its hardest. During a stress test, you perform an exercise while you’re hooked up to an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) machine. The ECG allows your doctor at the CardioVascular Institute of South Texas to monitor your heart rate while you exercise.
During a stress test, you may walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike while your cardiologist monitors your heart rhythm, blood pressure, and breathing. This test provides information about how well your heart works under physical stress.
The team at CardioVascular Institute of South Texas may recommend a stress test if you have signs or symptoms of heart conditions such as:
CAD happens when the blood vessels that supply your heart with oxygen and nutrients become clogged or damaged. Coronary artery disease can lead to chest pain (angina) or a heart attack.
An arrhythmia occurs when the electrical signals that control your heart rhythm don’t work properly. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat.
Before your stress test, your cardiologist at the CardioVascular Institute of South Texas performs a physical exam and reviews your medical history to make sure this test is right for you.
Then, they provide you with information on how to prepare for the stress test. This may include avoiding certain substances, such as caffeine and tobacco products, the day before and day of your test.
During the stress test, your provider attaches sticky patches to your chest, legs, and arms. These patches are electrodes that connect to the ECG machine to record your heart activity. They attach a cuff to your arm to measure blood pressure and may also ask you to breathe into a tube while you’re exercising.
The exercise test begins slowly and becomes progressively more challenging. You continue to exercise until your heart rate reaches a predetermined target or until you develop symptoms, such as chest pain or dizziness. You may stop the test at any time you feel too uncomfortable to continue.
To learn more about stress testing, call CardioVascular Institute of South Texas or book an appointment online today.