A Patient’s Guide to EKGs

When you have an appointment with a heart doctor near Phoenix , one of the tests he or she may order is an electrocardiogram, or EKG. EKGs are important tools for diagnosing heart disease and tracking the effectiveness of treatment. If you’re scheduled for an EKG, here is what you need to know.

What Is an EKG?
An EKG is performed to measure the electrical activity in your heart. This non-invasive test can be used to diagnose a wide range of heart conditions, including abnormal cardiac rhythms and damage to the heart muscle. If you are under treatment for a heart condition, an EKG may be performed to determine if the treatment has been effective.

When May You Need an EKG?
EKGs are performed as part of cardiac stress tests. Your heart doctor may also order an EKG if you complain about chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, or fainting spells. If you’re scheduled for surgery and are at risk for heart disease, an EKG may be included as part of your pre-operative exam.

What Happens During an EKG?
EKGs are performed on an outpatient basis. During the test, you will lie flat on a table while gel is applied to four locations on your extremities and six locations on your chest. Leads are placed over the gel, which transmit information about the electrical impulses of your heart to a computer monitor. The entire process takes about five minutes. The test is painless, though you may experience some discomfort when the adhesive patches used to hold the leads in place are removed. It may be necessary to shave a small amount of chest hair in some cases. After the test, your heart doctor will read the recording of your heart activity to look for abnormalities.

EKGs are among the many diagnostic tests the heart doctors at Cardiac Solutions use to deliver the best possible patient care. If you have cardiovascular disease, our doctors can help you find the right treatment plan. To make an appointment, please call (623) 876-8816.

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