An EKG is a test that documents the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG measures both heart rhythm and heart rate. While it is a simple and non-invasive test, it is one of the most effective ways to quickly measure heart functionality.
There are several different reasons that the doctor may order an EKG. Patients who are having an irregular heartbeat or unusual heart rhythm, patients who have chest pain, or patients with shortness of breath and dizziness may have an EKG. If heart damage is suspected, an EKG may be used to determine what part of the heart suffered the damage. Patients who have pacemakers may have an EKG to make sure the implanted pacemaker is doing its job properly. If the doctor suspects that a patient had a heart attack, an EKG can be performed to determine whether that is the case.
An EKG is typically done while the patient lays down. Small electrodes are attached to key points on the body, and those electrodes are attached to an EKG machine. For around 10-15 seconds, the heart activity is recorded and then longer strips may be obtained to catch irregularities. Another type of EKG is the stress test. In a stress test, also known as an exercise EKG, the patient will be moving during the test. Usually, patients will be using either a stationary bicycle or a treadmill for the duration of the test. This test is especially useful in determining what types of changes in heart activity happen during times of stress, thus its nickname of "stress test." Stress tests are not performed on-site but can be arranged.
After an EKG, patients can return to their normal routine right away. No downtime is required.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!