Our Approach for Stress Tests
If you have symptoms of coronary artery disease (CAD), we offer several types of stress tests to help diagnose the condition. Our comprehensive stress testing combines advanced equipment with experienced care providers to produce detailed results for precise treatment planning of heart disease.
Our cardiologists, medical providers, and imaging technologists also use stress tests to monitor your heart health, evaluate the effectiveness of treatment, and assess your ability to exercise after a heart attack or surgery.
WHAT WE OFFER YOU FOR STRESS TESTS
● SPECIALIST OVERSITE, with skilled cardiologists who have extensive experience in reading and interpreting stress tests and imaging tests results
● PRECISE DIAGNOSIS OPTIONS that combine the latest stress test equipment with the expertise of our experienced medical providers and technologists
● PERSONALIZED CARE through a variety of advanced options for stress tests that accommodate your abilities and provide high-quality results
REASONS FOR A STRESS TEST
Stress tests are utilized to assess symptoms like shortness of breath and chest pains, which are primary indicators of coronary artery disease (CAD), a narrowing of the arteries that lead to the heart. A stress test can help diagnose and assess the following heart conditions:
WHAT TO EXPECT: NUCLEAR STRESS TESTING
A nuclear stress test is an advanced diagnostic tool for finding the cause of new or worsening chest pain, stratifying risk for heart disease, deciding how well treatment is progressing, and/or evaluating recovery after a heart attack.
A regular stress test shows the EKG, heart rate, and blood pressure while you are walking on a treadmill. A nuclear stress test shows your physician pictures of the blood flow to the heart muscle, in addition to the EKG, heart rate, and blood pressure.
In order to take pictures of your heart, you will receive an injection of a radioactive tracer through an IV. The tracer allows the Nuclear camera to take pictures of the blood flow to the heart muscle. There are no side effects from the radioactive tracer. It is not a contrast dye. It does not contain iodine and will not harm your kidneys. Nuclear stress testing is very safe and can help your cardiologist accurately diagnosis heart disease.
PREPARING FOR YOUR NUCLEAR STRESS TEST
When preparing for the nuclear stress test, you will receive pre-procedure instructions. Do not eat or drink anything that is caffeinated or decaffeinated for at least 24 hours before the procedure. You may have a light meal 2 hours before your appointment. All medication should be taken as you would normally, unless otherwise directed by our office or your physician.
DURING THE PROCEDURE
Testing begins by placing an IV in your arm and injecting the radioactive tracer. You will then sit in the waiting area for about 20 and 45 minutes to allow the tracer to be absorbed by the heart muscle. After the waiting period, we will take pictures of the blood flow to your heart muscle with the nuclear camera.
Following your pictures, we will perform your stress test. We can do your stress test by having you walk on the treadmill or by giving you a medication that makes your body think it is exercising. We will monitor you before, during, and after your stress test to make sure you are safe and comfortable.
For people that are able to exercise, we will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and EKG while you are walking on the treadmill. The treadmill will go higher and faster until you become tired. Once you have exercised as much as you can, we will give you a second injection of the tracer so we can see the stress blood flow to your heart muscle. It is normal to feel tired, short of breath, heaviness of the legs while exercising.
If you are unable to exercise, we will monitor you as we give you an injection of a medication that makes your body think it's exercising by opening your blood vessels. It is normal to feel short of breath, pressure in the head, chest, or belly. The side effects go away within a couple of minutes. We can also give you a reversal medication, if needed, to take away the side effects. You will receive a second injection of the tracer so we can see the stress blood flow to your heart muscle.
After your stress test, you will sit in the waiting area again and then we will take the second set of pictures. Once your pictures are finished you are free to leave the office. We will process the images and the physician will read the EKGs and the pictures.
A special "Thank You" to the Phillips County Community Foundation for making the purchase of the stress test treadmill and system possible through their generous grant.