On average, an adult’s heart beats about 80 times a minute, pushing blood, oxygen, and nutrients to all the tissues in the body. If your heart isn’t working as well as it should, it may be due to an underlying health issue. To assess heart health and function, board-certified cardiologist Kunal Patel, MD, at NJ Cardiovascular Institute in Newark and Secaucus, New Jersey, offers in-office stress testing, which measures cardiac activity during exercise. To learn more about stress testing, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.
A stress test is a diagnostic tool Dr. Patel uses to assess how well your heart works during exercise. When you’re engaged in physical activity, your heart works harder and faster. Due to the exertion, the stress test reveals issues with your heart or blood flow that may not be seen with other less strenuous tests.
You may need a stress test to confirm or rule out a cardiac condition. Some of the most common reasons a stress test is recommended include:
Arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heartbeat that develops due to changes in the electrical impulses in your heart. Dr. Patel may recommend a stress test to diagnose an arrhythmia.
Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to your heart are damaged or diseased, most often due to a buildup of plaque along the blood vessel walls. Dr. Patel may request a stress test if he suspects your symptoms are due to coronary artery disease.
A stress test is also conducted to assess your heart’s response to treatments aimed at improving heart health.
Dr. Patel and his team at NJ Cardiovascular Institute provide specific instructions on how to prepare for your stress test. You may be advised not to drink or eat before your test, and you may need to make modifications to your medication schedule. Dr. Patel may also request that you not smoke or consume anything with caffeine for a set period of time before your stress test.
Stress tests are conducted at the office. Before you begin, Dr. Patel reviews your medical history and listens to your heart and lungs. Then electrodes are attached to specific spots on your chest and legs, and a blood pressure cuff is placed around your arm.
Once you’re ready, you exercise on either a treadmill or stationary bicycle until your heart has hit the set target. If you experience any discomfort during the test, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, be sure to let the team know.
After your test, Dr. Patel reviews the results and develops your personalized treatment plan to help improve or maintain heart health.
Stress testing is a tool Dr. Patel uses to assess heart health and rule out or confirm heart conditions. To schedule your stress test, call NJ Cardiovascular Institute today or book an appointment online.