What is it?
An exercise stress test is performed to investigate chest pain, in relation to heart problems. The results obtained from the test may assist in the diagnosis of condition, planning of future treatment, or in evaluation of what type of physical activities you might engage in with no or low hazards.
The test may be stopped at any time due to signs of fatigue or other reasons.
For any patient enquiries please speak to your specialist or contact MCDC by calling us on (03) 9802 9250.
What to bring
- Comfortable walking shoes and shorts or pants
- Any concession cards including Medicare and private heath fund cards
- All current medication in its original packaging
No special preparation is needed to undertake this procedure.
ECG dots and leads are attached to patients chest to monitor heart rate
Electrocardiogram images are taken whilst lying on side
Patient proceeds to Exercise Stress Test after resting images procured
Patient commences stress testing, walking on treadmill until optimum heart rate is achieved advised to stop
Patient returns to procedural bed to record after-exercise imaging
A standard procedure excercise stress test takes roughly about 1 hour
A Cardiologist will report to referring doctor within two days.
Although serious problems are rare, as with any medical procedure there are always some risks involved. Every effort is made to minimise your risk, though should complications arising from you procedure occur, emergency equipment is readily available.
If you have a heart condition, serious potential complications could include an abnormality of heart rhythm, prolonged angina (heart pain), heart attack and a very small risk of death.
Exact risks vary from patient to patient, however, some symptoms that may occur include;
Haematoma (Bruising and swelling)
It is usual for most patients to have bruising and tenderness at and around the catheters insertion point for a few days following procedure.
Infection is rare, however if infection does occur it is usually contained to the area of skin overlying the catheter insertion point. Any infection will be treated with the appropriate antibiotic.
Allergic reaction to dye
A dye, or ‘Contrast’ is used to enable the coronary arteries to be seen using x-ray. Minor reactions can result in hives and rare occasions where a dramatic fall in blood pressure is evident, shock. Risk to patients with no previous reaction to contrast dyes extremely low. Inform your Cardiologist if you have had any previous reaction to contrast mediums.
Acute Closure or rupture of coronary artery
In rare cases, coronary angioplasty can cause the artery to become completely blocked or rupture. In this situation an emergency coronary artery bypass operation would be performed.
In extreme cases, patients may endure cardiac arrest during this procedure. Rest assured your Cardiologist is well prepared to deal with this situation.