What is an ECG/EKG?
Electrocardiograms, often referred to as either an ECG or an EKG, are tests that record the electrical activity that stimulates your heart and controls its pumping action.
ECG/EKGs are valuable diagnostic tools that provide information that helps your physician identify your health condition and create a customized treatment plan.
Why would I need an ECG/EKG?
ECCA uses ECG/EKGs to identify the cardiovascular health problem causing symptoms, including:
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent fatigue and weakness
- Uneven heartbeat
- Fluttering or racing heartbeat
ECG/EKGs can also help your physician identify the issue causing abnormal heart sounds detected with a stethoscope.
Additionally, as you age, your physician may recommend an ECG/EKG as a preventive test to assess your heart health if you have a family history of heart disease.
What should I expect during an ECG/EKG?
ECG/EKGs are relatively quick and painless tests. You wear a hospital gown, and a technician attaches small, sticky electrodes to your chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are connected to the ECG/EKG machine with wires.
Then, while you lie still on a treatment table, the electrodes detect the electrical activity in your heart and send the information to the computer for recording. The whole test only takes around 10 minutes.
ECCA also uses ECG/EKGs during stress tests. The process is similar, but instead of lying still, you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike to put your heart under stress.
You slowly increase the intensity of your activity and then return to a mild or resting pace. The ECG/EKG records your heart activity while it’s under stress as well as what happens when you recover from stress.
If you’re unable to exercise, your physician can provide a medication to increase your heart rate temporarily to mimic the stress of physical activity.
The limitation of an ECG/EKG is that it only records data for a short amount of time. Depending on your symptoms, your physician may also recommend that you wear a Holter or event monitor to gather more information about your heart activity for between 24 hours and 30 days.
ECCA provides state-of-the-art cardiovascular testing and treatment. Call or schedule an appointment online today for an ECG/EKG.