When you experience symptoms that suggest a heart problem, an electrocardiogram (EKG) is one of the first diagnostic tests you have. The cardiac specialists at Cardiac Care Consultants perform accurate EKGs in the office so you can get the comprehensive care you need during one visit. If you have questions about an EKG or need to schedule an appointment, call the office in Peoria, Sun City West, or Wickenburg, Arizona, or use the convenient online booking feature today.
An EKG shows the electrical activity in your heart. Every time your heart beats, an electrical signal travels through the heart muscles, following a specific path. The signal makes the muscles contract in a pattern that forces blood through your heart.
Your EKG shows if you have a healthy, regular heart rhythm or an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). The test also reveals how long it takes electrical signals to travel through your heart and if some areas are overworked.
The team at Cardiac Care Consultants does an EKG to determine the cause of symptoms such as dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. They use an EKG to help diagnose conditions such as:
Your provider may also use an EKG to get a baseline measurement of your heart’s activity and use it to evaluate the effectiveness of treatments. If you have a high risk for cardiovascular disease, you may need an EKG to screen for problems even if you don’t have symptoms.
During the EKG, your provider places up to 12 self-adhesive electrodes on your chest, arms, and legs. They may need to shave away body hair in areas where they want to attach the electrodes.
After placing the electrodes on your body, your provider connects each electrode to the EKG machine with a wire. As the electrodes pick up electrical activity, they send the information to the machine. The machine records the activity on paper.
The electrodes may feel cold when first applied, but the procedure is painless. Though it takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes, the actual EKG only takes a few minutes.
If your EKG shows any problems, you may need additional diagnostic testing, such as an echocardiogram or stress test.
In the event you have a normal EKG, but your symptoms suggest an irregular heartbeat, Cardiac Care Consultants may recommend wearing a Holter monitor or event monitor. These devices record your heart rhythm throughout the day, catching variations that may not appear during your in-office EKG.
To learn more about EKGs, call Cardiac Care Consultants, or schedule an appointment online today.