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Diagnostic Testing
Cardiac Stress Test

Cardiac Stress Test

Cardiac Testing

What is the test?

This test is used to evaluate the heart's response to physical exercise, and is as simple as riding a bicycle or taking a brisk walk. It helps your cardiologist determine if there are blockages or narrowing in the arteries in and around the heart.

How do I prepare?

Do not eat or drink for at least two hours before the test. Wear comfortable loose-fitting pants, top, and sneakers or walking shoes. If you are taking any medications, call your doctor ahead of time to find out if there are any special instructions you should follow regarding your medicine. Plan to be at the medical center for about two hours, including outpatient registration, equipment setup, and completion of the stress test.

What can I expect during the test?

You will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist up and you will be given a gown to wear during the test. A cardiac technician will attach several electrodes to your chest with adhesive, and an EKG will be obtained. You will then be asked to either walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bicycle, following protocols designed to make your heart work hard. While you exercise, your heart rate and blood pressure will be constantly monitored and the information stored in a computer for analysis and for comparison to your resting vital signs and EKG.

After the test?

You may resume your normal activities, though you might feel tired after this test, depending on your medical condition and your tolerance for vigorous exercise.

How and when will I get my test results?

The cardiologist will discuss the results with you immediately following the test and will also share them with your primary care physician.

Where is the test performed?

Cardiac stress tests are performed in the Cardiac Stress Testing Lab at Cayuga Medical Center, 101 Dates Drive, off NYS Route 96, in Ithaca.

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