An electrocardiogram is a simple and common test to check for signs of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. It is a harmless process that records your heart's electrical signals, gathering data doctors can use to prevent, diagnose and evaluate ongoing or past problems. Our cardiologists at Modern Heart and Vascular can help you determine if you could benefit from an EKG.
What Is an Electrocardiogram (EKG) Test?
Natural electrical signals control your heart. Small jolts begin at the top of your heart (the atria) and travel down to the lower chambers (the ventricles) with every heartbeat. These electrical signals cause the movements that pump blood in and out of your heart.
If issues arise with your heartbeat or another heart-related condition, you can check these signals to determine the cause of the problem. An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) records your heart's electrical signals. An EKG can help measure heart rate, heart rhythm, blood and oxygen supply to the heart and other cardiovascular factors. This information will give you and your doctor a clearer picture of the issue at hand and how to approach treatment.
How Does an Electrocardiogram (EKG) Work?
An electrocardiogram is a painless and typically quick process. It uses electrodes — sticky patches with wires attached — to collect data on your heart's electrical signals. Your doctor or technician will attach these electrodes to the skin on your chest and limbs. EKGs only record your body's natural electrical impulses. They do not produce electrical signals so there is no risk of shock or electrocution. The process usually lasts around 10 minutes.
In addition to the standard EKG, doctors will sometimes recommend another type of electrocardiogram. If your condition occurs irregularly or needs to be monitored over an extended period, remote and continuous EKGs are portable and last longer. Doctors can check your heart signals for a longer span to gather more data on your condition.
What Can an EKG Detect?
Electrocardiograms can detect a wide variety of heart diseases and other cardiovascular issues. Using EKG data on your heart rate, rhythm and blood flow, your doctor can identify narrow arteries due to atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease (CAD). Doctors can also diagnose a past heart attack, arrhythmia or valvular heart disease with an EKG. Electrocardiograms will also help detect structural abnormalities in the heart.
In addition to diagnosing issues, EKGs can help healthcare providers monitor ongoing medical treatments to measure their efficacy, such as pacemakers. The potential uses of electrocardiograph equipment are wide-ranging and beneficial to people with numerous heart-related conditions.
Speak With a Cardiologist Today
You might need an electrocardiogram for many reasons. Doctors use this simple process to diagnose, treat and prevent several types of heart-related conditions. If you're experiencing chest pain and other symptoms like heart palpitations or difficulty breathing, an EKG might be a possibility for you.
The experts at Modern Heart and Vascular are available to help you determine if an electrocardiogram is the right course of action. We're dedicated to providing patient-focused care with the latest technology. Contact us today to learn more and consult with one of our cardiologists.
Commonly Asked Questions About Electrocardiograms (EKG)
What's the Difference Between an EKG and ECG Test?
Many patients ask this question but the answer is rather simple. There is no difference. Both abbreviations refer to an electrocardiogram.
Where can I get an electrocardiogram test?
To find where you can get an electrocardiogram done near you, please search “electrocardiogram near me” on Google or your preferred browser. If you are in the greater Houston, TX area, you can choose to do an electrocardiogram at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute. To set up your appointment, please call us at 832-644-8930.
This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.