Cardiac Stress Testing

Stress Testing with Echocardiograms – This test involves a resting echocardiogram and a walking treadmill stress test. Echocardiograms are given before, during, and after the stress test.

Stress Testing with Myocardial Perfusion Imaging – This test requires the patient to walk on a treadmill, with scans of the heart obtained before and after the treadmill test. A nuclear agent is given to obtain heart pictures. Dobutamine Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (with Dobutamine given through an IV) is used for patients who can’t walk or would not get a heart rate appropriate for an adequate test.

Treadmill Testing – Stress on the heart is evaluated as the patient walks on a treadmill. No imaging is involved. 

Reports from stress tests are discussed with patients at the times of the test and faxed to the referring physician the same day. A physician is present for all stress tests, and RNs administering stress tests are trained in advanced cardiac life support with experience in intensive care situations.

What is Heart Catheterization?

If your doctor has determined you need a heart catheterization, you probably have questions. 
Here’s a brief explanation of the procedure and what to expect. 

A heart catheterization is a procedure that allows your doctor to examine blood flow to the heart and test how well it is pumping. This procedure may be recommended for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is to evaluate chest pain. Your doctor may recommend this procedure be performed right away, or at a later date. 

During a heart catheterization, a catheter (long, thin, bendable tube) is put into your artery and guided into your heart. Pictures of your heart are taken, and the pressure inside your heart may be measured. During the procedure, doctors may find and repair problems such as a blocked artery. They may also be able to observe how strong your heart muscle is, and how well your heart works. The valves between your heart’s chambers can be checked to make sure they are working, and your doctor may check to see if your arteries are blocked with plaque. If a problem is found, doctors will discuss treatment with you. 

After your procedure, your doctor will determine how long you need to rest, and you will be watched closely for any complications that may arise. You will be given follow-up instructions.
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