Exercise Stress Test 

What is it? 

Exercise stress testing is a test to assess the likelihood there are blockages in your heart arteries. The test also assesses your fitness. 

Preparation 

Ask your doctor about whether you should withhold any of your medicines as some can affect the sensitivity of this test. 

All patients attending our clinics are treated with the utmost respect. A changing area in the procedure room is available for patients to change in private. During procedures patient contact is unavoidable, e.g. the need to place electrodes, or the application of the gel and ultrasound probe to examine your heart. 

We have female technologist on site, for any personal reasons we will comply whenever possible. Please discuss this with our staff when making our appointment. 
We prioritise our patient’s requests and personal needs providing there is no potential compromise of patient safety. 

What should I expect? 

ECG electrodes will be applied to your chest. Hair may need to be removed as necessary after discussion with the patient. These electrodes attach to our advanced console, which records your heart’s electrical activity. A blood pressure cuff will also be placed around your arm to monitor and measure blood pressure during the test. Before the test starts, a baseline measurement of blood pressure and ECG tracing will be obtained. 

During the test, you will walk on a treadmill. The speed and slope will increase every 2-3 minutes. This will make you feel like you are walking uphill. You should exercise for as long as possible to maximise the workload on the heart and ensure to increase the sensitivity of the test as much as possible. 

Your Cardiologist will look for changes in the ECG and blood pressure levels which may indicate that your heart is not getting enough oxygen due to narrowings in your heart arteries. Other signs of angina include chest pain or excessive shortness of breath whilst you are exercising. 

Complications are very rare but include a risk of heart attack (1 in 1000 patients) and risk of death (1 in 10,000 patients), some patients may feel dizzy, or have chest discomfort. 
At the end of the test, your doctor will give you a recovery phase where you may rest. After the test is over, you may eat, drink and go back to your normal activities. 

The results of the test will be posted to your referring doctor on the same day. 

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