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Why You Should Consider Having an EKG Test

An electrocardiogram test (EKG or ECG) it a special, noninvasive test conducted to check underlying heart conditions by measuring the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG translates the heart’s electrical activity into a graphical representation on tracing paper.

By positioning leads (electrical sensing devices) on selected parts of the body and looking for characteristic patterns on the EKG, information about several heart problems can be gathered.

How are EKG tests performed?Cardiologist-NYU

The doctor will attach EKG leads to your body while you lie flat on a bed or table. Leads are then attached to each of your four extremities and six pre-defined positions on the front of the chest. Sometimes, applying a small amount of gel to the skin around the chest area allows electrical impulses of the heart to be more easily transmitted to the EKG.

Velcro straps, small suction cups, or small adhesive patches, attached loosely to the skin, are used to hold the leads in place. The test generally takes about five minutes. It is completely painless.

Why are EKG tests necessary?

  • To check the heart’s electrical activity.
  • To determine the cause of unexplained chest pain. Such pains can be caused by a number of health conditions, including heart attack, angina, and inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis).
  • To find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick, also known as hypertrophy.
  • To check how well any mechanical devices implanted in the heart, such as pacemakers, are working to control heartbeats.
  • To check how well any heart medications prescribed to the patient are working and whether there are any side effects.
  • To determine the causes of symptoms of a patient’s heart disease, such as dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, or irregular beats.
  • To assess the general health of the heart in the presence of other diseases and health conditions such as cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Who needs EKG tests?

Your doctor may recommend EKG if you have signs and symptoms that suggest an underlying heart problem. Such signs and symptoms often include:

  • Chest pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Unusual heart sounds

Contact Dr. Seldon

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site. Call us at (212) 367-8000.



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