Penn Heart and Vascular

Heart and Vascular Patient Information

What to Expect
Noninvasive Cardiac Procedures

This information is designed to provide you with an overview of what to expect before, during and after your noninvasive procedure. It should serve only as a guide, as treatment will vary for each patient.

In preparation for your test, please be sure to bring a referral(s) and any prescriptions from your physicians. Please note that the referral must be made to the hospital directly.

The Night Before
  • You must follow all instructions to ensure accurate test results.
  • You may be advised not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. Check with your doctor about whether this applies to you.
  • Bring all of your medications with you to the hospital.
  • Write down a list of your allergies.
  • Know where and when you had your last blood test, if applicable.
  • Make a note of the last time you've eaten.
Echocardiogram
TTE (Transthoracic Echo)
  • This test involves no pre-procedure actions.
  • The test takes approximately one hour and an IV line may be needed.
  • During the procedure you will be required to lie on your side or back.
TEE (Transesophageal Echo)
  • Before the procedure do not drink or eat anything after midnight. Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to repeat your blood work and EKG prior to the procedure. You can take your morning medications with small sips of water only. Do not take diabetic medications or water pills.
  • The test takes approximately three hours and an IV line will be placed. During the procedure sedation is required. Dentures will need to be removed. You will be required to lie on your left side.
  • You will need someone to accompany you to and from the procedure. You cannot drive for 24 hours due to receiving sedation medication.
Stress Echo
  • Do not eat and/or drink anything for three hours before your test except water.
  • The test takes approximately one hour and an IV line may be placed.
  • During the procedure, you will be required to walk on the treadmill or a medication will be administered as an alternative to exercise if you are unable to walk.
  • Beta blockers may be held before testing. Check with your physician about specific instructions regarding medications.
Bubble Study
  • This test involves no Pre-Procedure actions.
  • The test takes approximately one hour and an IV line will be placed.
  • During the procedure you will be required to lie on your side or back.
Nuclear Tests
Nuclear Stress
  • Do not have any caffeine 24 hours prior to your test and do not eat or drink anything but water for two to four hours before your appointment unless otherwise instructed by your physician. Please inform your doctor of any other medications you are taking; you will be advised accordingly.
  • The test will take approximately four to five hours and an IV line will be placed.
  • During the procedure you will be required to walk on the treadmill. Medication may be administered as an alternative to exercise if you are unable to walk.
  • Two-thirds through the stress test you will be given a small snack or you may bring food with you. With this study, you must lie on your back with your arms above your head inside a camera which takes images of your heart. If you are claustrophobic, please speak to your doctor.
  • Check with your physician about specific instructions regarding medications.
MUGA
  • This test involves no Pre-Procedure actions.
  • The test takes approximately one hour. A radioactive isotope will be injected through your vein.
  • You will be required to lie flat on your back.

Cardiopulmonary Stress (VO2 Stress)

  • Do not have any caffeine 24 hours prior to your test and do not eat or drink anything but water three hours before your test unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
  • The test takes approximately one to two hours.
  • During the procedure you will be required to walk on the treadmill. You may also be asked to breathe through a mask.
Treadmill Stress
  • Do not eat or drink anything for three to four hours before your appointment unless otherwise instructed by your physician.
  • This test takes approximately one hour.
  • During the procedure you will be required to walk on a treadmill.
  • Check with your physician about specific instructions regarding medications.
Holter Monitor and Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • This test involves no pre-procedure actions.
  • This test takes approximately 30 minutes.
  • During the procedure you must record your activities while wearing the Holter Monitor.
  • During the Electrocardiogram you will be required to lie flat on your back.