Known as an EKG or ECG, an electrocardiography records your heart’s electrical activity through the use of electrodes placed on your skin. It is a very common test performed by your general physician, cardiologist, and vein doctor.
The EKG detects the slightest electrical changes on your skin that come about from each and every heartbeat in order for your doctor to learn more about the function and structure of your heat. The test is non-invasive, painless, and takes just seconds after the leads are attached.
Attaching the leads are the longest part of the test, and can take upwards of 10 minutes. The technician or nurse may have to shave small areas of hair to ensure the electrodes are secured appropriately to the skin.
Medical Uses for an EKG
There are many indications for a physician to use an EKG. Some reasons you might be advised to get an electrocardiography test include:
- Cardiac stress testing
- Suspected pulmonary embolism
- Fainting spells
- Dizzy spells
- Circulation concerns
- Vein problems
- Heart murmur
- Suspect heart attack
- Heart valve problems
- Heart arrhythmia
- Coronary heart disease
- Monitor the effectiveness of a pacemaker
- Breathing difficulties
- Feeling weak or fatigued
- Feeling that your heat if racing, pounding, or fluttering
- Feeling pains in your chest
Abnormal results from an ECG can indicate an heart condition, and additional testing is necessary. The results may indicate that your heart is beating erratically, beating too fast, or beating too slow. It can indicate that you are having a heart attack, or have had one previously. An EKG can provide clues that you have an enlarged heart, have blocked articles, or have problems with blood flow. It can also indicate that you might have heart valve problems or coronary heart disease.
Other EKG Considerations
There are very few risks associated with having an EKG, aside from possible irritations or rash from the electrodes placements.
There is no real preparation for having an ECG. However, patients are advised to refrain from exercising or drinking cold water before getting this test. Exercising can elevate your heart rate and drinking cold water can alter the electrical patterns, and may alter the test results.
Your San Luis Obispo vein doctor will interpret the results of your EKG to determine if any treatment is warranted to improve your condition.