Electrocardiogram (EKG)

Overview

What is Electrocardiogram (EKG) Testing?

An electrocardiogram (EKG), also called an ECG, is a test that checks your heart’s electrical activity. Electrodes attached to your chest, arms and legs send information to a computer. The results are recorded as digital files.

The EKG is a noninvasive test, meaning it does not require surgery or the insertion of a catheter. It is a painless process and carries no risks.

What Can an EKG Help Diagnose?

Our doctors use electrocardiograms to help diagnose many common heart conditions and disorders, including:

Screenings

Your doctor may also use electrocardiograms to screen for:

  • Heart health before surgery
  • Heart conditions in their early stages, before you even notice symptoms
  • Genetic heart issues, particularly if a parent or sibling had heart disease, especially early in life
  • Your heart’s reaction to a new medication
  • The effectiveness of a new or existing pacemaker

World-Class Care

Aurora’s Comprehensive Electrocardiogram (EKG) Testing

When you come in for an EKG test at an Aurora Health Care facility, we offer you:

  • Convenient locations: Because we have 15 hospitals and 155 clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois, we can usually schedule your EKG at an Aurora facility convenient for you. In some cases, you may not even need an appointment: Your doctor may be able to do the test in his/her office with a portable EKG machine.
  • Timely appointments: Aurora staff members will try to schedule your EKG test as quickly as possible.
  • Advanced equipment: Our lab equipment, including electrocardiograph machines, is constantly updated. You can be sure you are getting the most detailed test results currently available.
  • Caring diagnostic professionals: Our experienced technicians and staff will check your comfort level and explain testing procedures throughout the EKG process.

What to Expect

What Happens During an Electrocardiogram (EKG) Test?

The EKG is a very simple test that only takes about 15 minutes and doesn’t require any special preparation on your part.

The resting 12-lead electrocardiogram is the standard EKG test. During the procedure:

  1. The technician will ask you to remove clothing on the upper part of your body and wear a hospital gown.
  2. You will lie on your back. Your Aurora technician will place 12 EKG lead wires to adhesive electrodes on your chest, legs and arms.
  3. We will ask you to lie very still for about 10 minutes while the EKG is recorded.

After Your Test

Your technician will not be able to share your test results immediately. A doctor who specializes in reading EKGs will review your test results and send them to your doctor.

Your doctor will contact you as soon as possible with your EKG results. He/she will talk to you about any additional testing requests or treatment plans, if needed.

Learn more about cardiac electrophysiology and interventional cardiology.

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