Also known as a cardiopulmonary exercise test, a cardiopulmonary stress test is a non-invasive evaluation where doctors can determine how well a patient’s body handles physical exertion. During this test, our doctors are able to analyze several processes, such as:
Cardiopulmonary stress tests are performed in our office for patients who are scheduled for major surgery or rehabilitating after a serious illness. This test may also assess the effectiveness of certain medications and determine if they are the best course of treatment for the patient. The results of the test can be indicators of underlying health issues and serve as a way for providers to map out the next steps in patient care.
From the initial testing to the final measurements, a cardiopulmonary stress test only lasts about 40 minutes. Our doctors start by measuring the patient’s vital signs to get a baseline reading of their breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate at rest. Then, the physical activity begins. Patients are asked to exercise on an exercise machine while being monitored periodically. The exercise itself is mild, requiring little exertion, and makes up only about 10 minutes of the entire appointment.
During the exercise period, our medical team evaluates the strength and capacity of the lungs by having the patient breathe into a special mouthpiece that measures their breathing rate. Heart rate and blood pressure are also monitored during this time. Once complete, the doctor will record the findings and discuss the results with the patient.
Patients undergoing a cardiopulmonary stress test should continue taking any regular medications as prescribed. Before the test, patients should plan on wearing loose, breathable clothing that’s appropriate for exercise to ensure comfort and ease of movement. It’s also important to avoid the following activities:
If any further steps should be taken to prepare for your stress test, our providers will keep you informed. We ensure each patient feels prepared and ready before their appointment. At the time of arrival, our doctor also reviews the upcoming procedure and answers any questions our patients have.
Serving patients in Franklin Township, West Orange, Somerset County, and Essex County in NJ, Brunswick Pulmonary & Sleep Medicine can help pave the way toward better health. New patients can complete the registration form before their first appointment. Contact us today for more information about cardiopulmonary stress tests.