Treatment Preparation

Cardiac Catheterization

You will be asked to fast for eight to 12 hours before the procedure. If you have had a reaction to contrast medium or have an allergy to shellfish, please notify your physician prior to scheduling the test. When you come to the hospital, wear comfortable clothes. You will change into a hospital gown for the procedure. Leave all jewelry or valuables at home.

Your groin will be shaved by our staff before the procedure. You will be ready to go home within a few hours following the procedure. If you will be having the test as an outpatient, you will need someone available to drive you home. During recovery from the diagnostic cardiac catheterization you will be required to lie in bed for an average of two to six hours.

Cardiac Stress Test

Check with your doctor to see if you should stop any of your medications a day or two prior to the test. This is especially important if you are taking a beta blocker (metoprolol, atenolol, toprol, carvedilol) and you are expected to walk on a treadmill or if you are having a dobutamine stress test. For 12 hours prior to your test, avoid all foods, beverages and medications that contain caffeine, including:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soft drinks—even those labeled decaffeinated or caffeine free
  • Chocolate
  • Aspirin products that contain caffeine, such as Anacin and Excedrin

If you are having a test utilizing Adenosine or Regadenoson, do not take the medication Persantine or Aggrenox (dipyridamole) or any medication that contains Theophylline such as Theo-Dur. You may eat a light breakfast or lunch prior to your test. Avoid strenuous activity on the day of the test. Wear loose and comfortable clothing and comfortable walking shoes. Allow one to three hours for your test, and three hours if you are having a stress test with nuclear imaging.

Cardiac Ultrasound Studies—includes Echocardiogram, Transesophageal Echocardiogram, or TEE

Wear a comfortable two-piece outfit. You will be asked to undress from the waist up and put on a hospital gown.

The following applies only for TEEs:

  • Arrive at the main hospital registration desk at least one hour prior to the test
  • Do not eat or drink for six hours before the test because you will be sedated for the test
  • Inform the staff and doctor performing the test if you have problems swallowing or any condition involving your esophagus or stomach
  • Tell the staff about any allergies you have to medications, especially sedatives

Following the test you will not be able to drive for 12 hours, so you will need someone available to drive you home. Do not eat or drink for about one hour, at which point you can use cold drinks or lozenges to soothe your throat if it is sore. Report any unusual symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, chest pain, bleeding or fever to your cardiologist’s office.

Electrophysiology Study

You will be asked to fast for four to 12 hours before the procedure. If you take medications, take them with a sip of water. When you come to the hospital wear comfortable clothes. You will change into a hospital gown for the procedure. Leave all jewelry and valuables at home. Your groin or neck will be shaved by our staff before the procedure. You will be ready to go home within a few hours following the procedure. If you will be having the test as an outpatient, you will need someone available to drive you home. During recovery from your procedure you will be required to lie in bed for an average of two to six hours.