A stress echocardiogram is used to obtain ultrasound pictures of your heart at rest and immediately after exercise. An echocardiogram uses sound waves to produce images or pictures of the heart. This test allows your doctor to see how well your heart is squeezing and to identify abnormalities with the heart muscle and valves.
There is no special preparation for this test. You will be asked to undress from the waist up. You will then be covered with a gown and asked to lie slightly on your left side. EKG electrodes will be connected to your chest. Using a small amount of of ultrasound gel and a transducer placed over and around your heart, images are obtained. You may be asked to take deep breaths, and sometimes the transducer must be held firmly against your chest. This may cause a little discomfort, but produces the best pictures of your heart.
You will then be asked to walk on a treadmill to increase your heart rate. If you can't walk on a treadmill you may get a medication injected into your vein that increases your heart rate. Once your target heart rate is achieved, you will lie down on the stretcher again and the echocardiogram is repeated.
This test takes approximately an hour.
DAY OF YOUR TEST:
- You may have a light meal four hours prior to your test. No caffeine 24 hours prior to your test.
- Wear comfortable clothing and walking shoes. Please no one piece garments such as full slips, overalls or dresses.
- Due to equipment in our office, temperatures tend to be on the cool side, please bring a sweater or light jacket.
- Do not take your medication the morning of your test.
BRING WITH YOU:
- All your medications in the original bottle
- Picture ID
- Current insurance cards
For more information: