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Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An electrocardiogram (also known as an EKG or an ECG) is a non-invasive, simple test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart. This procedure differs from an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound-based exam that measures the heart's pumping ability. Physicians East proudly offers this non-invasive test at many of our primary care offices as a means of diagnosing a variety of conditions.

What Does an EKG Do?

  • Finds the cause for unexplained chest pain or pressure
  • Finds the symptoms of heart disease
  • Finds out whether the chamber walls of heart are too thick
  • Measures the effectiveness of heart medication and checks for side effects
  • Measures the effectiveness of implanted medical devices
  • Measures the health of the heart when other conditions have already been diagnosed.

What Happens During an EKG?

While you are lying down on a table, several electrodes will be attached to the skin on your arms, legs and chest, using a sticky and harmless substance. These electrodes send signals from your heart to a machine that measures the electrical activity of the heart and displays it on a print out. The test typically takes no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Your physician will be able to immediately read and inform you of the results.

Only your physician can determine whether or not an EKG is the right test to measure your heart activity. It's important that you communicate to your provider any issues you've noticed at your annual wellness exam, such as shortness of breath, a continuous tired feeling, or pain or pressure in your arm or chest.