Exercise Stress Test/Stress Echocardiogram
- Eat only a light breakfast if the test is in the morning or light lunch otherwise.
- Wear comfortable rubber soled footwear if possible, ideally sneakers
- Wear loose fitting shorts or slacks or skirt
- A blouse opening at the front for women and no synthetic tops.
- Do not use body lotion or powder on the day of the test.
- Please bring your request form or letter and a list of all your medications.
- Bring your Medicare or DVA card as well as a credit card to pay the gap where applicable.
Bring a list of your current medications. Many medications can affect with the test.
Often some medications will be stopped on the day of the test or days before. This must be discussed with your doctor first. The following drugs can interfere with the test beta-blockers (metroprolol, minax, propranolol, atenolol, noten, dilatrend, sotalol, any other drugs ending in -olol, calcium channel blockers (amlodipine, veraparmil, diltiazem, nifedipine), perhexilene nicorandil.
How safe is the test
It is CRITICAL that you tell the doctor if you have been having recent chest or back or pain pain or discomfort.
There is a very small risk of complications. About 1 in 2000 patients may have a heart attack during or after the test. These are usually patients with severe coronary disease who are at risk of having a heart attack outside the hospital with a poor outcome. We have had about 1 heart attack every 7-8 years. These have all done well. We have over 19,000 stress tests without a death over 40 years.
The Test Bike limited to 150kg in weight. We cannot use the bicycle ergometer but we can do a basic step test instead.
You will have ECG leads attached to your chest by our cardiac nurse. Females can ride with a shirt on over the leads (open front).
ECG and Blood Pressure will be monitored throughout the test. The test usually takes less than 20 minutes. After the test please remain in the waiting area for 10 minutes.
If you are having a stress echo you will have an echocardiogram immediately after the test to see if any regions of the heart are not contracting properly.
We will also assess your fitness compared with hundreds or thousands of people the same age on our test. Fitness is a powerful predictor of longevity and good health.
If you have any chest pain, unexplained shortness of breath or dizziness after the test while waiting outside after the test, you should knock on the door immediately to notify us. If you develop symptoms after leaving please immediately return to the emergency department.
You must return to our consulting rooms after the test to settle accounts and arrange appointments.