What is an EKG?
Every time your heart beats, an electrical signal travels through your heart, causing the muscles to contract and pump blood. An electrocardiogram (EKG), records and measures these electrical signals through sensors called electrodes.
What is an EKG used for?
An EKG is a common test that helps the team at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates detect and monitor many heart conditions, including:
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Blocked arteries
They may also take an EKG to assess the effectiveness of ongoing treatments, like a pacemaker.
Why would I need an EKG?
An EKG provides valuable information about how your heart is functioning. Your provider at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates may also recommend an EKG if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Rapid pulse
- Weakness or fatigue
- Dizziness or light-headedness
Additionally, an EKG may be part of your routine physical exam if you have risk factors for heart disease, like a family history of heart problems.
What should I expect from an EKG test?
An EKG is a simple and painless test with no risk involved. The electrodes placed on your skin only record electrical signals through your skin. They don’t send electricity into your body.
The only discomfort you may experience during the procedure is when the EKG technician removes the sticky electrode patches. This feels like an adhesive bandage being pulled from your skin.
During an EKG, you lie on an exam table while a highly trained technician at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates places multiple electrodes on your arms, legs, and chest. The electrodes attach to an EKG machine via small wires.
EKG tests typically take only a few minutes while delivering fast results. The team at South Shore Cardiovascular Associates may review your data and discuss any necessary next steps the same day, or they may do this at your next appointment.
If your EKG reveals abnormalities, your doctor may take additional tests, like an echocardiogram, to confirm a diagnosis or determine the best course of treatment. After an EKG, you can return to normal activities right away.
To find out if you need an EKG, call South Shore Cardiovascular Associates or book an appointment online today.