Cardio pulmonary exercise testing (CPET) helps to assess a patient’s fitness for major surgery. We only use this test if we think you might have an increased risk with surgery.
The test combines other individual tests that look at heart, lung and muscle, to see how these systems respond to exercise together.
This gives us a better prediction of risk around your operation, anaesthetic and recovery.
CPET gives us more information than the individual heart and lung tests do and with the results we can better prepare you and the care you will need from us.
During the test you will be required to perform mild exercise on a stationary bicycle. Whilst exercising each breath will be measured to assess how the body is performing via a face mask. Your heart and lungs will be closely monitored throughout the test.
The CPET test will take around 30 minutes, however you will only be required to exercise for approximately ten minutes. You will not be required to exert yourself to maximum effort. You should continue your regular medication and refrain from having caffeine drinks for four hours before the test. Comfortable clothing such as walking shoes/trainers and loose trousers are ideal.
The risks associated with the tests are the same as those associated with mild to moderate exercise. You will be monitored closely throughout the test via ECG, blood pressure and oxygen levels. There will always be a member of the anesthetic team present throughout the test and we will stop the test if you develop any symptoms or feel unwell.
The results of the test will be discussed with you on the day of the test, in addition to all other test results, to provide a full picture of any risks that might be associated with your surgery and how we will prepare you in the best way possible.