When your doctor has reason to suspect that you might be at risk of having a heart problem, you might need to have an electrocardiogram (EKG) done. An EKG provides information on the electrical signals in your heart, which can be used to diagnose heart problems.
Reasons to Need an Electrocardiogram
Your doctor might have you undergo an EKG if you have experienced potential signs of heart problems. These include palpitations, a fast heart rate or chest pain. You might also need an EKG if you have experienced shortness of breath, lightheadedness, confusion, fatigue or weakness. Your doctor might also order an EKG if you have a family history of heart problems, even when you do not show any signs or symptoms.
Your doctor can use an EKG to check for signs that you have had a previous heart attack that went undetected. This procedure can also be used to check for an irregular heart rhythm, structural problems within your heart or artery blockages in your heart.
How Does an EKG Work?
An EKG test involves placing electrodes on different areas of your chest and using these to measure electrical activity. This activity shows up on a graph, which your doctor will examine in order to check for irregularities or abnormalities.
Good Candidates for an EKG
You might be a good candidate for an EKG if you are experiencing any symptoms that could be signs of heart problems. Even without symptoms, you might be a suitable candidate if heart disease or other heart problems run in your family.
Risks of an EKG
EKG tests are considered safe for many patients. Although electrodes are placed on your chest, they do not produce any electrical shocks or other unpleasant sensations while the test is being done. When the electrodes are removed from your chest afterwards, you might experience slight discomfort. In rare cases, swelling or redness can occur.
How to Prepare for an EKG
You normally don’t need to follow any special instructions in order to prepare for an EKG. Your doctor will want to know about medications you take to make sure that they won’t interfere with the results of your EKG. You don’t need to fast or make any dietary changes before having this type of test done.
What to Expect During an EKG
When you have an EKG done, you’ll usually have 10 electrodes placed on your chest. You’ll need to stay as still as possible while the test is done, since movements can affect the results. Keep in mind that this test only takes a few minutes to do.
After an EKG
You don’t have to restrict your activities after you have an EKG done. Your doctor will evaluate your results, and discuss them with you. You might have to undergo additional tests if you have results that are abnormal. If you do have a heart problem, your doctor will go over treatment options with you.
If you need an electrocardiogram, please contact Heart Vein NYC to schedule an appointment.