The treadmill test can show how you correspond to physical activity with your pectus excavatum deformity.
If you experience chest discomfort, the test can recognize shortness of breath or even dizziness during physical exercise. This test can help analyze a lot of problems.
An echocardiogram, a treadmill test, defines a procedure that, by using sound waves, creates images of your heart and sees how it functions. The test is not harmful or painful.
The stress or workout phase usually consists of walking on a treadmill with a subtle incline until you are forced to stop.
Echocardiography will be performed to collect images before and after the treadmill exercise.
This test can take your blood pressure and pulse rate and monitor your vital symptoms.
Why should a pectus patient do a treadmill test?
As already known, a more severe form of chest deformity can pressure the heart and lungs, creating risks for additional health problems.
This is why some pectus excavatum patients are required to perform such tests.
You should do treadmill tests if your doctor advises it. It monitors your deformity, and the doctors will know what type of treatment (if necessary) is best for you.
You can also ask for the test to be completed if you notice any symptoms that concern you as indicators of poor heart health. This will help you better understand your situation and save you from possible problems in the future.
I recommend you also do the test if you’re constantly anxious about whether the deformity compresses your lungs or heart. If the examination reveals that there isn’t any problem with your heart and lungs, it can be very relieving.
Another reason why this test is recommended is surgery. Before surgery, your heart function must be checked. Your doctor may suggest you do a stress test.
How does the test work, and how long it lasts?
The test starts with a technician measuring your blood pressure and resting heart rate.
Afterward, they stick tiny disks called electrodes on your arms and chest. The EKG machine is connected to the electrodes.
The test is often known as an exercise stress test because it begins with your heart beating faster and harder while walking on a treadmill.
Walking should force your heart to beat at least 85% of its maximum capacity during the test.
Your blood pressure is tested every few minutes, your heart rate and electrical activity are continuously tracked, and your physician cares about your situation every moment during the testing process.
The basic treadmill stress test lasts for around 10 to 15 minutes. But, together with all the needed preparation for the test, recovery following training requires additional time.
To cool off, you end with a few minutes of slow walking, and after that, you need to stand or sit quietly for another 15 minutes, allowing yourself to settle.
Only some people complete all seven levels. Unfit people frequently give up too soon because they get too exhausted or out of breath. Some people quit due to chest discomfort related to their sunken chest.
preparation process & What to expect
Preparing for the test is a simple process. Put on loose, comfortable clothing and comfy running shoes. A few hours before the test, do not eat, smoke, or use alcohol– or caffeine-containing beverages. That way, you will eliminate any stimulants in your body and lower the risk of an incorrect result. Your doctor will guide you through the process.
You may need to shave off some chest hair or body parts to better position the electrode sticks for better results.
Your doctor may advise you to stop taking certain medications a day or a few days before the test.
After the test, you can go home and return to your normal activities unless your doctor tells you something different because of any symptoms during the appointment.
Then the results are usually obtained in the next 24 hours, and the doctor will inform you about your condition.
Be informed about the reliability of the test
These results aren’t always accurate. You should keep that in mind, and if the results don’t turn out as you should or expected, don’t panic immediately, and don’t be afraid. There are many other forms of checking your heart health.
This testing method is effective for detecting symptoms like chest pain, but according to doctors, no medical test is 100% accurate, but it can help determine what should come next.
The test is less practical for those at low risk of heart disease and those who are too fragile or unable to exercise.
Recent studies have often mentioned that the cycling test is more reliable and safer than the treadmill test.
The cost of this test may differ based on where you are. Overall, it’s not a very overpriced test.
According to the information I can find online, the cost of the test ranges from $1400 to $7000, depending on the medication package you select to undergo.
- Stress Test: Purpose, Procedure, Risks and Results [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/16984-exercise-stress-test
- Strategies for Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing of Pectus Excavatum Patients – PMC [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664209/
- Jonas DE, Reddy S, Middleton JC, Barclay C, Green J, Baker C, et al. Screening for Cardiovascular Disease Risk With Resting or Exercise Electrocardiography: Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2018 Jun 12;319(22):2315.
- Exercise stress test – Harvard Health [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/exercise-stress-test
- Treadmill (TMT)Test Price, Preparation | Upto 50% Off | HOD [Internet]. HOD | House Of Diagnostics. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://www.hod.care/test/tmt-stress-ecg
- Frontiers | Comparison Between Treadmill and Bicycle Ergometer Exercises in Terms of Safety of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2022.864637/full
- Stress Test Price in Philippine Hospitals – Medical Pinas [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 13]. Available from: https://medicalpinas.com/stress-test-price-in-philippine-hospitals/