Is the exercise test painful or uncomfortable?
The exercise test will likely cause fatigue, mainly to the legs, and cause the patient to breath more heavily over time. Generally the patient should not feel pain or discomfort. Use of a mouthpiece and nose clip may feel uncomfortable. There are times, however, that your doctor orders an exercise study to understand why you have pain or discomfort during daily activities. Exercise testing in these cases are done to evaluate the causes of pain/discomfort and obtain information regarding your safety to exercise.
Is the exercise test risky or dangerous?
The exercise test is not risky or dangerous. Complications rarely occur, and if they do, the staff is equipped and trained to handle those rare occasions.
Because the heart's function is being constantly monitored during the test, the exercise will be stopped if anything worrisome is observed.
Are there any special preparations before or after the exercise test?
The patient must not intake any caffeine the day prior to the test and should not eat or may eat a light meal two hours before the test. The patient must come prepared to do exercise in comfortable clothing and sneakers. You can continue your home medication(s) unless instructed not to take medication(s) by your doctor.
Who performs the exercise test?
Experienced exercise physiologists administer the test under the supervision of a physician.
Who interprets the exercise test?
A pediatric cardiologist interprets the exercise test.
Where is the exercise test done?
The exercise test is performed in the Cardiology Clinic area in the Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute, located on the fourth floor of Location C (Outpatient Services Building) on the main campus.
When is the exercise test done?
The exercise test is scheduled by appointments every hour. Appointments are available Monday through Friday.
How long does it take?
Patients are exercising for only 10-15 minutes. Patients are in the lab about an hour for set-up, test explanation, exercise and recovery from exercise.
When can I expect results from the testing, and how do I receive the results?
The test results are typically available within one business week. The test results are given or sent to the referring physician who will then contact the patient or parent / guardian. If the results reveal a problem needing urgent attention, the physician in charge will be notified before the patient leaves the Heart Institute.