A tilt table procedure is a test done to evaluate symptoms of syncope (fainting). If you have syncope, the doctor will carefully evaluate your past medical history and perform a physical exam. If the results of the exam or history do not show a cause for the syncope, and you have no history of heart disease, then further test may be scheduled.
One type of test that may be used to assess syncope is the tilt table procedure. This procedure attempts to cause syncope by creating changes in posture from lying to standing. You will lie flat on a special bed or table with special safety belts and a footrest while connected to electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood pressure monitors. The bed or table is then elevated to an almost standing position (60 to 80 degree vertical angle) to simulate standing up from a lying position. The blood pressure and EKG are measured during the test to evaluate changes during the position changes. If the test causes you to faint, then the cause of the syncope is vasovagal syndrome. The doctor can then prescribe specific treatment for the syncope once the cause is known.
You may need a tilt table test if you have recurring fainting and other causes were ruled out by other tests.
Syncope, or fainting, may be caused by various medical problems. Syncope may occur rarely to frequently, depending on the cause. Some causes of syncope may include:
There may be other reasons for your doctor to advise a tilt table procedure.
Possible risks of tilt table testing include:
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.
A tilt table procedure may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor’s practices.
Generally, a tilt table procedure follows this process:
You should be able to resume your normal diet and activities, unless your doctor instructs you differently.
Generally, there is no special care following a tilt table procedure.
Tell your doctor if you develop any signs or symptoms you had prior to the test (such as, dizziness or fainting).
Your doctor may give you other instructions after the procedure, depending on your situation.
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