Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
What is it?
An ECG is a device that records the electrical activity of your heart on graph paper. Your physician can use the ECG to diagnose abnormalities of your heart, heart attack, and poor blood flow to the heart muscle. Your heart rhythm can be assessed and enlargement of the heart chamber can be detected using the ECG device.
How do I prepare?
Wear a shirt that can be easily removed so the electrodes can be placed on your chest. Do not wear oily or greasy creams, lotions, and full length hose. Electrodes need to be placed on your legs.
How is it done?
Ten electrodes will be attached to your chest, arms, and legs using adhesive pads. Men with chest hair may be shaved to allow a better connection. You will lie flat on an examination table while the device records the electrical impulses of your heart. The actual recording takes only a few seconds.
What can I expect after the ECG?
The electrodes will be removed and you can dress and resume your normal activities.
What are the risks?
The device does not send electricity into your body, it only records the activity. There’s no pain or risk associated with having an ECG.