Treadmill and Stress Testing
Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Welcome to the Cardiovascular Exercise Stress Department.
Exercise stress testing is done under the direct supervision of a cardiologist to provide information about how the heart responds to physical exertion. It usually involves walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty, while the electrocardiogram, heart rate, and the blood pressure are monitored. For additional information, imaging of the heart with ultrasound or a radioactive tracer can also be done before and after exercise.
Your doctor may use the stress test to:
- Determine if there is an adequate blood flow to your heart during increasing levels of activity.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your cardiac treatment plan.
- Determine the likelihood of having coronary artery disease or determine the need for additional testing
- Please do not eat or drink large amounts before test.
- Take your regular medications unless instructed differently by your physician.
- Wear comfortable clothes and soft-soled shoes suitable for walking.
What to expect:
Ten small areas of your chest are cleaned and small sticky electrode patches are attached to these areas. Men may expect to have their chest partially shaved to improve contact. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor that charts your heart’s electrical activity during the test.
Your blood pressure and ECG recording will be taken before, during, and after exercise. You will begin to exercise by walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary cycle. The degree of difficulty will gradually increase. You may be asked to exercise until you are exhausted.
At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how you are feeling. Please tell them if you feel chest, arm or jaw discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, or any other unusual symptoms. It is normal for your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and perspiration to increase during the test. For your safety, the Cardiologist and lab personnel will watch for symptoms or changes on the ECG monitor that suggest the test should be stopped. For patients with physical limitations, the stress portion of the test can be accomplished by giving a drug intravenously.
After the test you will continue to walk or pedal slowly for a short time to cool down. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG will continue to be monitored until the levels have returned to normal. Although the appointment lasts about 60 minutes, the actual exercise time is usually between 7-20 minutes. Ask your doctor or nursing staff if you have questions about the stress test.
The Watson Clinic Stress Lab is staffed by a team of caring Technicians.
Scott Moore, Team Leader
Samantha Earnest, MA Technician
Betty Jo McLendon, MA Technician
Jesus Munoz, MA Technician
Sheryl Owens, MA Technician