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EKGs

Family Medical Home

Family Medicine Physicians located in San Antonio, TX

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To better gauge your risk and check for signs of this potentially dangerous disease, the experts at Family Medical Home in San Antonio, Texas, monitor your heart with a noninvasive test called an EKG. This simple test records your heart’s electrical activity to give the team vital information about your heart health. For more information, call Family Medical Home or book an appointment online.

EKGs Q & A

What is an EKG?

An EKG, or electrocardiogram, is a test that records the electrical activity of a heartbeat through small electrode patches that a physician or technician attaches to your arms, legs, and chest. Each beat sends an electrical wave through the heart, causing the muscle to contract and send blood from the heart. An EKG records the strength and timing of these signals to detect abnormal activity. 

What is an EKG used for?

An in-office EKG at Family Medical Home is quick, painless, and safe. It’s often used by physicians to:

  • Diagnose a heart attack
  • Determining the cause of chest pain
  • Check for ischemia (poor blood flow to the heart)
  • Monitor your heart rhythm
  • See if you have a thickened heart muscle
  • Detect electrolyte abnormalities

If you have a pacemaker, your physician may use an EKG to make sure it’s working efficiently.

How should I prepare for an EKG?

Because an EKG is painless, noninvasive, and safe, not much preparation is needed before you come in for your test. However, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your EKG is quick and comfortable:

  • Wear a shirt you can easily remove for the test.
  • Avoid greasy lotions, as the electrodes need to make direct skin contact.
  • Don’t wear tights or hosiery, which block the electrodes from reaching your skin.
  • Make sure you’re warm, as shivering can distort the results.

While an EKG is a harmless test, make sure you tell the Family Medical Home team about any medications you’re currently taking prior to your visit.

What happens during an EKG?

Family Medical Home offers in-office EKGs for your convenience. At the beginning of your visit, a physician or technician attaches about 10 electrodes to your chest and, sometimes, your arms and legs. Each electrode is attached to a wire that connects to the EKG monitor.

During the test, you’ll lie down on a table while your results are recorded. While this is called a resting EKG, the same test can also be used while you exercise.

An EKG only takes approximately 10 minutes, and your results are recorded in seconds. To learn more, call Family Medical Home or schedule an appointment online today.