A stress echocardiogram combines ultrasound imaging of the heart with a stress test. This test is useful in diagnosing possible coronary artery disease.
If you take a medicine named Viagra, you should not use it for 48 hours before your stress test. The test will take approximately one hour. Ten electrodes will be applied to your chest. Certain areas of the chest may need to be shaved on male patients. These pads will be connected to wires leading to the stress test equipment. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm. Resting blood pressure and EKG information will be obtained before the test.
Next you will be asked to lie on the bed, on your left side, and an ultrasound transducer and gel will be used to take ultrasound images of your heart. Color flow and Doppler will be used to evaluate the valves of your heart.
Once these pictures have been taken, the doctor will come in and you will then be asked to walk on the treadmill. This is done to see how your heart functions at an increased demand. The treadmill will gradually increase in speed and elevation until your heart rate reaches an appropriate level for you, or until you experience any symptoms or request to stop. We will listen to what you say as you walk and ask you questions about how you feel. If, at any time, you feel that you cannot continue, the treadmill will be stopped. When the treadmill is stopped you will then be asked to immediately return to the table, in the same position you were in before walking on the treadmill.
The staff will encourage you to do this as fast as possible. The transducer will then be moved across your chest, as it was prior to walking on the treadmill. The sonographer must take these pictures of your heart within 1-1 1/2 minutes after you stopped walking on the treadmill. This is why it is important for you to return to the table quickly.
After pictures of your heart are taken, you will remain lying on the table for a 9-minute recovery period. There will be at least two qualified persons present throughout the test. They will continuously be monitoring your electrocardiogram, blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory response to exercise. When your heart rate and blood pressure have returned to a level that is normal for you, the wires and electrodes will be removed. The physician present for the exam will dictate a final report, which will be sent to your doctor within a few days.
We are dedicated to making your testing experience a pleasant one. For more information, please call us at 765-453-8333.