Cardiologist & Interventional Cardiologist located in Washington, DC & Silver Spring, MD
While many heart conditions are identifiable using standard electrocardiogram (ECG) or echocardiogram techniques, sometimes symptoms don't appear during the test. If this happens to you, board-certified cardiologist Luc Oke, MD, and his team at Heart Consultants can help. At their locations in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Washington, DC, they use state-of-the-art stress testing that combines an ECG with exercise to diagnose your condition. Call the office closest to you today to find out more or use the online form to book an appointment.
Stress Testing Q & A
What is stress testing?
Stress testing is a diagnostic tool in which an electrocardiogram (ECG) records the electrical activity in your heart as you exercise.
Exercising makes your heart work harder, increasing your heart rate. Dr. Oke uses stress testing to see how blood flows through your heart when your heart rate rises.
Stress testing lasts about an hour, but you only spend around 15 minutes of that time exercising. The remainder provides valuable information about your heart function before and after you exercise.
Heart Consultants has fully equipped facilities on-site for performing stress testing. If you're too sick to manage stress testing by exercising, Dr. Oke can instead give you medication that makes your heart rate increase.
Why would I need to undergo stress testing?
Stress testing might be necessary if a resting ECG doesn't detect any problems in your heart.
Certain heart problems cause symptoms that come and go. If you have a resting ECG when you're not experiencing symptoms, the test might not be able to detect what's wrong.
Exercising puts your heart under more stress, making it more likely the ECG picks up any problems. Stress testing is useful for diagnosing irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and coronary artery disease.
If you're already undergoing treatment at Heart Consultants, stress testing is a good way to assess how well your treatment's working. Dr. Oke can then make any adjustments necessary to optimize your treatment plan.
What does stress testing involve?
You might need to make certain preparations before your stress test, such as fasting, not having anything to drink, avoiding caffeine, and stopping some medications. Dr. Oke gives you all the instructions you need prior to your stress testing appointment.
Before your stress test begins, a technician attaches electrodes that relay the information about your heart's electrical activity to the ECG machine. When you're ready, you start walking on a treadmill, gradually increasing speed and effort according to Dr. Oke's instructions.
At the point where you reach the target Dr. Oke sets for your heart rate, you start to gradually slow down. The ECG continues to record what's happening in your heart as you come to a stop and while your heart slows to its normal resting rate.
To benefit from the state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities available at Heart Consultants or arrange a consultation with Dr. Oke, call the office today or book an appointment online.