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A stress echo is a test that takes pictures of the heart with the use of a probe placed outside your chest wall while your heart is working hard. To "stress" the heart, you'll be given an intravenous medication (Dobutamine) that will make your heart beat harder and faster just like it would during exercise.
The pictures taken before, during and after your heart is "stressed" are displayed on the ultrasound monitor and are recorded on a disk for review and comparison. A dobutamine stress echo is performed by a sonographer and interpreted by a cardiologist.
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You must have
NOTHING to eat or drink 2 hours before your test. Medications can be taken with a sip of water unless your doctor tells you not to.
Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
Bring with you to your appointment your:
When you arrive at the
Echocardiography Lab check in at the reception desk. The receptionist will ask you:
You will be given a name band to wear.
A sonographer will escort you to a changing room where you will be asked to remove all clothing from the waist up. A patient gown will be provided.
You will be taken into the procedure room. Please take your valuables with you.
During the test monitors will be attached to you to record your heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure during the test. A needle will be inserted into an arm vein to give you the medication. You will be asked to lie on your left side. The sonographer will take pictures of your heart.
After the test, the sonographer cannot give you the results. The cardiologist will review the images and write a report.
The report will be sent to the doctor who requested the stress echo and he/she will discuss the results with you at a later time.
A Dobutamine Stress Echocardiogram usually takes 30 minutes to one hour.
We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.
You will be contacted with information about your first appointment.
Please bring the following to your appointment. Not all of these items may be needed for your appointment. Our clinic or your referring doctor will let you know what you must bring.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.
When you arrive, you will sign in with the receptionist. You will need your health card (OHIP card) to sign-in. If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You may be given a Measuring Health Equity Questionnaire to fill out. This form contains questions about your background. We collect this information to find out who we serve and what unique needs you may have. The form is voluntary and you can choose ‘prefer not to answer’ to any or all questions. However, the information you choose to give us will help us improve the quality of care for you and others.
First appointments take longer than follow-up appointments. Your first appointment can take 2 hours or more. Follow-up appointments usually take 15 to 30 minutes. We do everything we can to stay on time but sometimes unforeseen circumstances may delay your appointment.
At the end of your first appointment, the nurse or doctor will give you a contact list for your health care team. If you don’t get a contact list, feel free to ask for it.
After every appointment, a member of your health care team will tell you about your next visit. Be sure you understand what is going to happen next. For example, know the time and place of your next visit or if someone will call you with this information.
If you are unsure about what your next steps are, don’t be afraid to ask a member of your team. We are here to help you.
We understand that reaching us by phone can sometimes be difficult. Often our phone lines are busy or are turned over to the message centre so our staff can prepare for clinic visits or help other patients. We make every effort to return your call within 24 hours. Our staff will try to reach you 2 times. If we are not able to reach you directly you may need to call us again.