If you need diagnostic testing for chest pain, shortness of breath, or other heart-related symptoms, you may be a candidate for an electrocardiogram (EKG). This simple test can tell your doctor many things about the activity of the heart. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most frequently asked questions about EKGs.
What is an EKG?
An electrocardiogram is a noninvasive diagnostic procedure used to measure the electrical signals in your heart. An EKG can determine if your heart is beating at a normal rate and strength. When the results of an EKG are abnormal, it can indicate heart damage or disease.
Why would I need an EKG?
The physicians at Greenbrook Medical may request an electrocardiogram as part of your diagnostic workup to diagnose unexplained symptoms of a rapid heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness, which can result from:
- Blocked arteries
- Heart failure
- Heart damage
- Heart attack
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
You may also need a routine EKG as a preventive screening if you have a family history or other risk factors for heart disease. If you’re taking medications to treat an existing health condition, you may also need regular EKGs to evaluate the health and function of your heart.
What do I need to do to prepare for an EKG?
There’s nothing you need to do to prepare for an electrocardiogram, and you can return to your usual activities immediately afterward.
What happens during an electrocardiogram?
The Greenbrook Medical physicians offer EKG technologies on-site to ensure fast and accurate test results. They perform the procedure on an outpatient basis, and the test takes just a few minutes.
During your EKG, you can expect to lay comfortably on an exam table. The staff places electrode sensors on the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. The sensors connect to the EKG machine with wires.
The machine records information about your heart’s electrical activity and displays it on a computer monitor. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort during an EKG.
After your procedure is over, the physicians remove the sensors and print out your results. If there are any abnormalities in your heart’s activity, such as increased heart rate, you may need additional testing to confirm your diagnosis. The physicians can discuss your options for treating a heart condition during your visit.
Greenbrook Medical provides comprehensive care services for heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. They also offer referrals to a heart specialist through the available care coordination services.
How long will it take to get the results of my EKG?
You will receive the results of your electrocardiogram immediately after the test. Your doctor will be able to go over the results with you and will refer you to a cardiologist if needed.
To learn more about the diagnostic benefits of an EKG, call the Greenbrook Medical office nearest to you today or request an appointment online.