Stress testing is an alternative way of finding out what’s causing your heart-related symptoms when nothing’s showing on a regular ECG. Board-certified cardiology and interventional cardiology specialists Rakesh Sahni, MD, and Sheila Sahni, MD, of Sahni Heart Center in Clark, Fords, Red Bank, and City of Orange, New Jersey, have considerable experience of using stress testing to diagnose heart conditions. Make an appointment over the phone today, or you can also use the online booking form for Sahni Heart Center’s Clark, New Jersey, office.
Stress testing or an exercise stress test is a method used to measure how well the blood is flowing through your heart.
When you exercise, your heart rate rises, and blood pumps harder. This can help Dr. Sahni see evidence of heart problems that may not be visible when you’re resting.
During stress testing, an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) machine records your heart’s electrical activity as it pumps.
Stress testing helps to identify the cause of symptoms you’re experiencing when they aren’t showing up on a standard ECG. Dr. Sahni might recommend you undergo stress testing to help diagnose heart conditions such as:
Stress testing is also useful for monitoring your progress if you’re already receiving treatment for a heart problem. The stress test gives Dr. Sahni the necessary information to make adjustments to your rehabilitation program.
Another reason for stress testing is if Dr. Sahni wants to assess your need for advanced forms of surgery like a heart transplant, or for choosing the optimum time for you to undergo cardiac surgery.
You need to follow Dr. Sahni’s instructions about when to stop eating and drinking, whether you should stop taking medication, or if you should take a break from caffeine.
Stress testing takes about an hour. You need to exercise for about 15 minutes during that hour, while the rest of the time is about monitoring your heart before and after exercising.
Stress testing involves using a treadmill or riding a stationary bicycle, so you need to be capable of getting your heart rate up through exercise.
If you can’t do the physical exercise because of your current state of health, Dr. Sahni can give you medication to produce the same effects without you having to exert yourself.
First, you have the electrodes stuck in place on your body to send information to the EKG machine. To begin the stress test, you walk or pedal slowly, then gradually increase the amount of effort you’re putting in under Dr. Sahni’s instruction.
When you reach the target heart rate, you start slowing down again. After your stress test, you need to stay still for a short time before lying down with the EKG electrodes in place, so they continue to monitor your heart as it returns to its resting state.
If you’re having symptoms that you think might be due to a heart problem and require a stress test, call Sahni Heart Center today, or you can choose to book online for the Clark, New Jersey, office.