if you are having heart pain or other heart problems, one of the first tests your vein doctor or surgeon might perform is an electrocardiogram. Electrocardiography is a non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. Also known as an EKG or ECG, the test is often the first part of the diagnosing process for heart disease. There are a number of reasons why a doctor might perform or order an EKG.
Common Reasons for Electrocardiography
If You Have Heart Palpitations
Heart palpitations occur when it feels as though your heart is racing or pounding. It might feel is if your heart is fluttering in your chest, like the wings of a butterfly. One thing that an EKG measures is heart rate. Along with measuring your heart rate, performing an EKG allows your doctor to determine if the heart rhythm is regular or unsteady.
It can be a useful tool for diagnosing heart palpitations, since the doctor can see when the heart rate increases. Performing the test can help doctors narrow down the list of potential causes of the palpitations as well. After the test, your doctor might ask you a number of questions to shed further light on the cause of the palpitations.
If You Have Chest Pain
Another common reason for performing an EKG is if a patient is experiencing chest pain or pressure in the heart. There are a number of reasons why you might have chest pain, ranging from a heart attack to pericarditis, which is inflammation in the sac around your heart. An EKG can be performed to diagnose chest pain caused by angina.
If You Have a Pacemaker
Some patients have a Pacemaker implanted in their hearts. The device uses electrical pulses to help the heart beat at a normal rate and rhythm. For a Pacemaker to be effective, it needs to properly maintain the heart’s rhythm. A doctor might perform an electrocardiogram to confirm that the Pacemaker is working properly.
Before You Have Surgery
Surgery usually has a number of risks, particularly for patients who aren’t in the best of health. If you are considering an elective surgery, meaning you don’t need the surgery for medical reasons, your doctor might order an EKG first, to make sure your heart is healthy enough to handle the stresses of surgery.
Usually, an EKG is only performed if there’s thought to be a problem with the heart or to rule out any issues before going forward with another procedure. You most likely won’t need to have one as part of your annual exam, unless you have a history of heart disease.
If your doctor recommends having an EKG, it’s best to schedule the test as soon as possible. For more details about the test and to schedule an appointment, contact Premier Heart and Vein Center today.