EKG Testing

EKG Testing Specialist
An EKG test can provide a lot of important information about the health and function of your heart. They are painless, and they’re performed right in the office without any need for sedation. As an experienced internal medicine doctor in New York City, Dr. Jose Batlle uses state-of-the-art technology to obtain EKG readings, using test results to aid in the diagnosis of heart-related issues as well as to manage their treatment.

EKG Testing Q & A

by Jose E. Batlle, MD

What is an EKG test?

EKG -- or sometimes ECG -- stands for electrocardiogram, which is a measurement of the heart’s electrical activity. Electrical impulses trigger every heartbeat, and a normal heartbeat produces a regular and predictable pattern.

EKGs enable Dr. Batlle to evaluate those electrical signals to look for aberrations that can indicate an underlying cardiovascular problem. In addition to diagnosing heart-related problems, EKGs can also guide treatment for cardiovascular issues.

When are EKG tests performed?

EKG tests are very versatile, and in just a few minutes’ time, they can yield a treasure trove of information about your heart health. They’re often incorporated into an annual physical exam, and they’re also used to diagnose and manage the treatment of:

  • Narrowed or blocked arteries, including coronary artery disease
  • Heart valve problems
  • Abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm
  • Structural defects in the heart

How is an EKG performed?

An EKG is completely noninvasive and painless. It uses a series of sticky electrodes, small discs that are adhered to different areas of the chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes (or leads) are extremely sensitive and capable of detecting the heart’s electrical signals through the skin.

The leads are attached to the EKG machine via long wires. These wires carry the electrical information from the electrodes to the EKG machine, which uses the information to produce a graphical representation of the heartbeat. By carefully evaluating the pattern produced by the heartbeat and comparing it to the pattern produced by a healthy heart, Dr. Batlle can determine if an issue exists that requires further evaluation.

EKGs take just a few moments to perform, and they require no sedation, which means patients can resume their regular activities immediately afterward.

What can I do to prepare for my EKG?

Usually, no special preparation is needed for an EKG test.

Because the leads must be placed on the chest, arms, and ankles, Dr. Batlle will need access to these areas. He may ask some patients to change into a dressing gown, but wearing loose-fitting clothing often provides enough access.

Patients who take medications should let the office know ahead of time, because they may need to postpone their normal dose until after the test. It’s usually also a good idea to avoid caffeine prior to an EKG test.

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