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Nuclear Stress Test Nuclear Stress Test

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Unread 01-11-2006, 08:16 AM
Nuclear Stress Test

I'm scheduled for TAH on January 19th. Now I found out I have to have cardiac clearance because I am diabetic. So I went to see a cardiologist yesterday and he immediately scheduled me for a nuclear stress test and echocardiogram! I am more nervous about the nuclear stress test than I am about having surgery! And believe me, I am very nervous about the surgery. Has anyone else ever had this type of stress test before? Anything I can do to calm my nerves before tomorrow morning?? Sorry to vent, but these boards are terrific about advice. Thanks - Diane
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Unread 01-11-2006, 12:16 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

Hi Diane,

I've never had a nuclear stress test or echocardiogram, so I don't have any words of wisdom for you. I will keep you in my prayers that everything goes well. Let us know how it goes.

s, Deb
Unread 01-11-2006, 12:35 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

Diane, is that the kind of test where the injection increases your heart rate instead of having it increased by a tread mill?
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Unread 01-11-2006, 12:43 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

I have had echocardiograms--echo for short. It is an ultrasound of your heart, performed by a tech, mine have all been in a small room at the office of my cardiologist. Gell is placed underneath your left breast and the wand is moved around as the tech looks at the different areas of your heart. Also, the wand is placed between the bottom portion of your ribs, near your diaphram, in order to get a "picture" of your heart from below. Usually the echo does not take more than about 15-20 minutes.

I have not had the nuclear stress test, but you do a search on the web to find information about this test.

Best wishes to you for both tests!
Unread 01-11-2006, 01:04 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

I think that a nuclear stress test is the same thing as a thallium stress test. What makes it "nuclear" is the thallium substance that is injected into your body so that they can see the way the blood is flowing through your heart.
Unread 01-11-2006, 02:54 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

Hi, I actually had two slightly different nuclear stress tests last year and following is as best I can recall these procedures.
For one I got on a tread mill and when max heart rate was reached, recieved an IV of the nuclear substance. A little while later went to have imaging done; had to lie perfectly still and that may be difficult at least was for me as they took about 15-20 minutes to do. Then needed to wait about 2 hours and the imaging was repeated.
Also had the test where the IV was given before the tread mill and imaging first was done and then the workout to boast heart rate and afterwards had images made again -imaging took about 15-20 minutes each time. The imaging device used was somewhat similar to a Ct scan machine. Tests were completely painless.
Weiser's given a good description of the echocardiogram and it also is painless.
Good luck with both tests.
s, peggiesue
Unread 01-11-2006, 04:03 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

I just had a nuclear stress test done after they canceled my surgery due to an abnormal EKG. Peggiesue describes it above, I would just add the following: the whole appointment takes about 4 hours - you have to wait in between the injections and the imaging, so bring a book to read. They let you eat after the first part - you can bring a lunch. It's done in two parts, the first where they inject radioactive isotopes (that sounds scary, I know) and then do the imaging (this is the easiest part). Then they inject something else (if you don't do the treadmill) to dilate your blood vessels and then do another imaging. That was really the worst of it, it makes your head feel wierd for a few minutes, but it's over fast. It's not really bad, just time consuming, and of course you're fasting. Mostly just unpleasant and boring, not scary.
Unread 01-11-2006, 04:24 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

I am a BIG CHICKEN when it comes to needles and anything medical; but this wasn't a bad one for me. I won't dread this one if I ever have to do it again. It was administered through an IV (I hate IV's but this was nothing, the needle small, didn't feel it go in and it didn't leave a mark). Any way I had to lie down for the heart imaging (which was an open contraption and the table moved) then, I was taken to another room where they injected the med's via IV for the stress test. My Dr. internist was there and he was so reassuring. He said it would feel like you've been in the ocean for a while and when you first come out - that tired, heavy feeling. Then they do the monitoring and inject another drug that stops the stress test. I bounced back pretty quick after the test. I was much more worried about nothing. It didn't hurt, it was quick, my Dr told me exactly what would happen. The funny thing was after it was over, my hubby is from the "atomic city" and as a gag gift, I bought him a government surplus Geiger counter, which he delighted in tracing the radioactive stuff through my body, yeah you'll be "hot" for a while, but it is safe and you'll feel soooo much better after it's over. Don't worry, this one is easy
Unread 01-11-2006, 04:46 PM
Nuclear Stress Test

I know it's easy to say "don't worry", but these tests are relatively easy. Like Moutain Miss, my surgery got cancelled due to an abnormal EKG and I had to have a nuclear cardiac scan and an echocardiogram. What these ladies have described basically was my experience as well. Do plan on spending 3-4 hours at the testing site. They have you fasting before you go, no caffeine 24 hours before the test, and you can eat before the second scan. In my case, before the second scan, I was allowed to do the stress part on a treadmill instead of having it "induced" with IV drugs. I didn't want to have that "weird" feeling that Mountain Miss described when they articially dilate your blood vessels with medicine, so I opted for the treadmill. However, that doesn't mean I still didn't have an IV inserted that was used to inject the radioactive materials used for both the first and second scans. But the IV is very small and painless. And the scan was actually very relaxing. I just laid down, closed my eyes, and thought pleasant thoughts. The echocardiogram was like any ultrasound. They put jelly on the parts where they apply the wand to make it slide easier. It's all on the outside of the body. Really, the whole thing was quite easy. I was really nervous about it as well, and when all was said and done, I realized I got worked up about next to nothing! And when I got my test results back, the cardiologist said that my heart is perfectly normal, it just sometimes beats a little irregularly. I hope your results come out that well also. Good Luck!

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