What happens during a tilt table procedure?

A tilt table procedure to assess syncope or fainting may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your physician's practices. Generally, a tilt table procedure follows this process:
  1. You will be asked to remove any jewelry or other objects that may interfere with the procedure.
  2. You will be asked to remove clothing from the waist up and will be given a gown to wear.
  3. You will be asked to empty your bladder prior to the procedure.
  4. You will lie down on a special bed or table.
  5. An intravenous (IV) line may be started in your hand or arm prior to the procedure for injection of medication and to administer IV fluids, if needed.
  6. Electrocardiogram (ECG) electrodes will be placed on your chest and attached to an ECG machine with wire leads. A blood pressure cuff will be placed on your arm and will be attached to an automatic blood pressure monitoring machine.
  7. A special bed or table will be used for the procedure. You will lie flat on the bed initially, and then you will be raised to an almost standing angle while on the bed. Straps will be placed across your chest and legs to keep you from falling if you faint during the procedure.
  8. You will remain upright to determine if symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, low heart rate, and/or a low blood pressure occur.
  9. If no symptoms occur, you may be given a medication in your IV to speed up your heart rate. This will be given while you are lying flat again.
  10. After the medication is given (if needed), you will again be tilted upright.
  11. You will be lowered to a flat position and allowed to rest for a while. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored.
  12. When you are stable, the IV line, blood pressure cuff, and ECG electrodes will be removed.
  13. You will be allowed to dress and leave, unless your physician instructs you differently.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.