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Diagnosing Your Heart and Vascular Condition

A variety of tests help doctors at Benefis Heart and Vascular Institute diagnose your condition and determine the best treatments. Some are done in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab (Cath Lab) while others may be done in your doctor’s office or another location.

What to Expect with Your Heart Test

If you’re scheduled for a heart test, your doctor and others on your care team will explain how the test will proceed. Be sure to ask for clarification if you don’t understand anything about the process — we welcome your questions.

Some heart tests don’t require any special preparation. For others, your doctor may advise you to:

  • Not eat or drink anything for a specific period of time before the test
  • Not smoke that day, since nicotine can increase your heart rate
  • Avoid coffee the day of the test, since caffeine can cause changes in your heart rate
  • Not take certain medicines that contain caffeine, such as some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
  • Not drink any alcoholic beverages for a few days before the test
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after your test