TREADMILL STRESS TESTING
Q: How long does a treadmill test take?
A: The test takes approximately 30 minutes from beginning to end, but only 5-10 minutes on the treadmill.
Q: What do I need to wear?
A: Clothing suitable for exercising, including running shoes.
Q: Should I take my medication as usual on the day of the test?
A: It depends on what your doctor has instructed. Some patients continue to take all of their medications as prescribed, but some patients are instructed to discontinue certain medications 48 hours prior to the test.
Q: What does a stress test measure?
A: 1. Blood flow to the heart at rest and during a period of stress (treadmill exercise portion). 2. Heart rate, blood pressure & fitness level. 3. How the heart responds to physical activity.
Q: Do I have to run on the treadmill?
A: The treadmill is pre-programmed, so it starts out at the speed of a slow walk, but the speed and incline are gradually increased every 3 minutes. The first 9 minutes on the treadmill are at a walking pace, and after 9 minutes the treadmill reaches a faster pace that does require running.
Q: What is a Holter monitor?
A: A Holter monitor is a small, battery-operated portable device that measures 4 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches in size and weighs 3.5 oz.
Q: How does a Holter monitor work?
A: A Holter monitor is a device about the size of a thick smartphone which you clip to your clothing or keep securely in your pocket throughout the day and night – except when you are bathing or showering (you cannot get it wet!). Wires runs from the monitor to sticky sensors on your chest. This is how the monitor tracks your heart’s rhythm.
Q: What is the monitor for?
A: The monitor measures and records your heart’s electrical activity continuously for 48 hours or 2 weeks. You may need a Holter monitor if your doctor suspects you have a heart rhythm problem. When your heart is beating with an unusual rhythm that is called an arrhythmia. Holter monitors are most often used to detect these problems in people who have:
– Fainted or sometimes feel dizzy.
– Experience palpitations. Palpitations are the feeling that your heart is pounding, racing, fluttering or beating unevenly.
– People who are being treated for a heart rhythm problem also may need to use a Holter monitor to see how treatment is working.
– Don’t get the monitor wet.
– Don’t use microwaves, magnets, metal detectors, electric razors, toothbrushes or blankets while wearing the monitor, as these may interfere with the transmission of the signal between the sensors and the monitor.
– Don’t go near high voltage electrical equipment.
Q: How do I prepare for the test?
A: The only requirement is that the patient wear loose-fitting clothing. Buttons down the front of a shirt or blouse is preferable. This makes it convenient to apply the ECG electrodes and also to comfortably carry the monitor in a relatively discreet manner.
Q: How long does it take?
A: It takes approximately 10 – 15 minutes to apply the monitor and less than 5 minutes to remove it. The patient will also receive instructions. Many monitors are also equipped with an “event” button. Pressing the button if/when you experience a symptoms (dizziness, for example), will help the technician locate the ECG recording from that precise time.
Q: Where can I learn more about healthy lifestyle, preventing heart disease and living with heart disease ?
A: The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is an excellent website with many useful resources for Canadians at risk for heart disease or who have heart disease. If you or your family member has or is at risk for heart disease, or if you need support to make healthy lifestyle changes, visit this webpage: heartandstroke.ca
The Ottawa Heart Institute has patient education and wellness information to support patients and families who wish to make healthy lifestyle changes. ottawaheart.ca
Q: How do I book my echocardiogram and/or nuclear cardiac perfusion test?
A: These tests are performed at Merivale Medical Imaging located on the lower level at 1370 Clyde Ave. You can visit their onsite booking office, or call 613-727-1072 ext. 1 to schedule these appointments
Q: Is there a fee for parking?
A: Yes. There is a flat rate daily fee of $4 that is payable by coin or credit card. Machines are located in the front of the building.
Q: If my cardiologist is away will one of the other cardiologists replace him/her?
A: No. Please see your family doctor in the meantime and an appointment with your cardiologist will be scheduled for you upon their return.
Q: How do I get my prescription renewed?
A: Please have your pharmacy fax us a refill request and we will have the cardiologist sign it and fax it back to your pharmacy.
Q: I am a non-resident or Quebec patient. How do I pay for my visit?
A: Payments are accepted by cash (exact amount only) or cheque.