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Electrocardiogram


An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. This activity is translated into line tracings (called waves) on paper, which our cardiologists use to determine how your heart is working and make a diagnosis.

Why Do I Need an EKG?

An EKG is done to monitor a variety of heart conditions:

  • Find the cause of chest pain which could be linked to a heart attack, angina or pericarditis (inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart)
  • Determine why you are experiencing heart disease symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting spells, or a rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Check how well medications are working and if they are causing issues with your heart
  • Check how well a medical device such as a pacemaker is working
  • Check overall heart health if you are suffering from other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, or if you are a smoker or have a family history of heart disease

How Do I Prepare?
If you take heart medications, your doctor may adjust your dosage as many medications may change the results of the electrocardiogram. If your electrocardiogram is an outpatient procedure, wear a two piece outfit. All jewelry on your neck, arms and wrists will need to be removed prior to the test. If you are wearing stockings, you'll be asked to remove them as well.

What Should I Expect?
It takes five to 10 minutes to complete an EKG. Our technician needs to make sure there is enough information to make a diagnosis.

You will lie on a bed or table, after which our EKG tech will place disposable electrodes on your arms, legs and chest to conduct the electrical impulse. It is important that you lie very still, without talking. You may be asked to hold your breath at certain points, but overall should breathe normally.

When Will I Receive My Results?
After your Mercy Gilbert cardiologist makes a diagnosis, we will send the results of your electrocardiogram to the doctor that ordered the test. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and then determine a plan of action.

Questions About Electrocardiograms at Mercy Gilbert?

We are committed to keeping you comfortable, safe and informed throughout your test. If you have questions or concerns about this test or any of our Cardiopulmonary Services, please call us anytime at 480.728.7208.