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What to Expect During Your Stress Test

What to Expect During Your Stress Test

We’ve got an extensive toolkit when it comes to analyzing how your heart is functioning — a blood pressure reading, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram, and even just taking a listen with our stethoscope. But we perform all of these while you and your heart are at rest.

If we want to get an idea about your cardiovascular function when your heart is pumping away, then we turn to a stress test, which can uncover some important, and potentially life-saving, information.

At Upper East Cardiology, Dr. Satjit Bhusri is a leading cardiologist who offers comprehensive heart health care, including preventive cardiology and comprehensive diagnostics. Considering that nearly half of American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, evaluation tools like stress testing can play an important role.

Below, we provide a complete guide to stress testing, which is a must-read for anyone who needs to undergo this harmless, but revealing, test.

What a stress test can tell us

It’s all well and good to gather information about a heart at rest, but what about when it’s hard at work? That’s the goal with stress testing — collecting data when your heart is at its peak rate.

This allows us to identify any issues that might not reveal themselves during other tests. One such issue is coronary artery disease, which is responsible for an estimated 1 in 4 deaths in the United States.

We might also use a stress test to figure out why you might be experiencing chest pain or heart palpitations.

Or, perhaps we’re having you undergo the stress test to see whether a new medication or treatment is working.

Whatever the reason, rest assured that this test is well worth your effort as we can gather some critical information about your cardiovascular health.

What happens during a stress test

As the name suggests, a stress test puts your heart through its paces. To do this, we place you on a treadmill or stationary bike and then monitor your heart function as you go. (Please note that if you have a condition that prevents you from exercising, we can use medication to get your heart pumping.)

Your stress test won’t last all that long, and you can stop at any time if you don’t feel well. Our goal is to get your heart to its peak rate and then slowly back down again, collecting information all the while. This data collection is perfectly harmless and comes from monitoring equipment that we attach to you, such as a blood pressure cuff and the electrodes from the electrocardiogram machine.

Tips for preparing for your stress test

To make your stress test go smoothly, we suggest that you:

In all, your stress test won’t last more than an hour, and you’re free to get on with your day afterward as we analyze the data.

If you have more questions about your upcoming stress test, please don’t hesitate to contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. You can also call us at (212) 752-3464.

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