Patients that are recommended surgery need to undergo cardiac testing for surgical clearance. You may be wondering why this is necessary. Surgery is a major undertaking, especially if anesthesia is used during the procedure. The results of cardiac testing can affect the choice of anesthesia and help doctors plan for surgery and make better postoperative recommendations. Cardiac events are a common cause of complications during surgery. Therefore, a risk assessment is an important step in preparing for surgery for good postoperative outcomes. Should the patient have an undiagnosed heart condition, surgery may be delayed.
Patients who have a complex medical history, a history of cardiac conditions (especially related to anesthesia), and current comorbidities typically need cardiac testing for surgical clearance. More complex and high-risk surgeries such as joint replacement surgery also require cardiac testing.
These are the most common preoperative cardiac tests that pre-surgery patients are usually required to undergo.
Also called a chest X-ray, chest radiography takes images of the heart and lungs. This is especially important if the patient exhibits symptoms of a heart or lung problem or has not had a chest X-ray in the past six months. If the surgery is within the chest region, a chest X-ray is usually taken.
Also called an ECG or an EKG, this test records the electrical signals produced by the heart. Patients who are undergoing complex and high-risk surgeries need an ECG or EKG test. During the test, electrodes are attached to your chest, arms, and legs, and a computer records the signals. An ECG or EKG test can detect a previous heart attack, as well as inadequate blood or oxygen supply to the heart.
Cardiac Stress Test
A cardiac stress test is a non-invasive test recommended for preoperative patients with poor exercise tolerance, for example, those who cannot walk a short distance without experiencing cardiac symptoms or have not had stress testing in the past two years. One technique of stress testing involves injecting radioactive dye to show blood flow to the heart. The technician will take images of the patient’s heart at rest and during exercise. The patient will walk on a treadmill or use a stationary bike. The results will reveal not just poor blood flow, but also any damage to the heart. It can help a doctor assess the risk of cardiac events during and after surgery.
If you have questions or concerns about cardiac testing, discuss it with your doctor. Patients who participate in pre-surgery and postoperative planning usually have better surgical outcomes.
Cardiac Testing for Surgery in Irmo, SC
SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, LLC is proud to offer quick and convenient cardiac testing for preoperative patients. We provide ECG and nuclear stress testing among others to help guide your care and treatment. We maintain a relaxing and comfortable environment and strive to make it a positive experience for our patients. If you have questions about our testing services or would like to schedule a test, call (803) 749-1111 or use our convenient online request form. Our friendly and compassionate staff looks forward to serving you in our Irmo clinic.