Expert Cardiac Care And Stress Echocardiogram Treatment in Melbourne
Take Control of Your Heart Health Today With Stress Echocardiogram Treatment
At Melbourne Heart Care we provide expert diagnosis and treatment in Melbourne using state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Our experienced cardiologists use a stress echo to diagnose cardiac conditions and monitor the health of your heart.
What is a stress-echocardiogram?
A stress echo is a non-invasive procedure that evaluates the function of your heart while it is under physical stress. This test combines an echocardiogram with walking on a treadmill to make your heart muscle pump harder to provide a comprehensive assessment of your heart’s health and cardiac function.
How does the stress echocardiogram work?
During the exercise stress echocardiogram, you walk on a treadmill while we monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and electrocardiogram (ECG). As you perform the exercise, the workload on your heart increases, which allows us to evaluate the function of your heart muscle and coronary arteries as it works harder.
We perform an echocardiogram before (“at rest”) and after (“stress”) to determine how your heart responds to this exercise. The echocardiogram part of the test consists of a scan that uses high-frequency ultrasound waves (inaudible sound waves) via an ultrasound probe over your chest to produce images of your heart muscle, structures, functioning and blood flow.
What can a stress echo diagnose?
A stress echocardiogram identifies areas of your heart where there may be a reduced blood supply through the coronary arteries to the heart muscle, or a decrease in cardiac function due to underlying disease or a heart attack. This helps diagnose a variety of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, and heart failure. It can also help determine the severity of these conditions and guide treatment decisions.
Why do I need a stress-echocardiogram?
A stress echo may be recommended by your doctor or cardiologist for a number of reasons, such as:
- If you are experiencing chest pain,
- A suspected past heart attack or disease of coronary arteries,
- If you have shortness of breath with exertion,
- If you have symptoms of ischaemic heart disease,
- To assess heart valve issues,
- For monitoring of pre-existing heart disease.
How is a stress echo test performed?
The stress echo test takes about 30 minutes and you will be monitored by a trained technician and a cardiologist throughout the test.
What to bring to your stress echo test:
Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and clothes and bring a bottle of water. You should bring your referral letter and any appropriate cards such as Medicare or Pension cards.
How to prepare for your stress echo:
Before your stress echo test, you will be given instructions on how to prepare. These instructions include directives such as not having a large meal within a couple of hours before the test. Speak to your referring doctor about whether any medications should be withheld prior to the stress echo test.
What to expect during the procedure:
It usually takes about 30 minutes to complete the test, and it is conducted in three parts.
You will have ECG electrodes applied to your chest and connected to leads to monitor your heart rhythm and rate, you will also have a blood pressure cuff attached to your arm. This allows us to accurately assess heart function at baseline, during the exercise portion of the test and during exercise recovery.
Part one: Our cardiac sonographer technicians take a baseline set of vital signs (blood pressure, heart rhythm and heart rate) and ultrasound images prior to the test.
Part two: You will then be asked to walk on a treadmill. It will start at a slow walking pace, with the incline and speed increased every 3 minutes until:
- you need to stop due to your symptoms, or
- you reach peak exercise tolerance, or
- you reach the target heart rate.
We monitor your blood pressure and heart whilst you are on the treadmill to measure your response to exercise. These other parameters can provide further insight into how your heart responds to stress and exercise.
Part three: Once the treadmill has stopped, we ask you to immediately lie down on the bed on your left side and a repeat echo is performed whilst your heart is working hard. This gives us echo images of your cardiac functioning when under stress. We continue to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate for approximately 5 minutes.
What happens after your stress echocardiogram:
After the stress echo test, our cardiologists will review the results and develop a personalised treatment plan based on your individual needs or send the results to your referring doctor for further management.
Why have a stress echocardiogram at Melbourne Heart Care?
At Melbourne Heart Care, we provide personalised care and treatment plans based on your individual needs. Our team of experienced cardiologists is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal heart health and improve your overall wellbeing. We use state-of-the-art equipment to provide accurate and timely diagnosis and effective management of different heart conditions.
- Phone: 03 9592 2177
- Fax: 03 9592 3177
- Postal Address: Suite 16, 3 Male Street, Brighton 3186