If you are experiencing heart pain, short breath, dizziness, or an irregular heartbeat, you may have a heart condition. Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, New York, offers a comprehensive suite of cardiology tests to ensure an accurate diagnosis of heart conditions and illnesses. Our capabilities include electrocardiograms, which allow us to evaluate your condition, provide a diagnosis, and prescribe an effective treatment for your condition.
What Is an EKG?
An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a non-invasive cardiology test performed at our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and outpatient facilities. An EKG allows your cardiologist to identify abnormal rhythms, or arrhythmias, in your heartbeat. This makes an EKG a useful tool in diagnosing a variety of problems, including the following:
- Congenital abnormalities
- Coronary artery disease
- Electrolyte irregularities
- High blood pressure
- Impaired blood flow
- Myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation)
- Recent heart attacks
While EKGs may be sufficient to provide a diagnosis by itself, Richmond University Medical Center often includes them in a suite of tests or as part of another test, like a stress test or Holter monitor. This helps us to ensure total accuracy in our diagnosis.
What to Expect on Testing Day
On the day you will receive an EKG, the physicians at Richmond University Medical Center will request you wear a shirt that can be easily removed. You also must avoid lotions, skin creams, and hosiery that will interfere with the electrode’s contact with your skin.
When you arrive in the test room, you’ll go through the following procedure:
- You’ll undress from the waist up, expose your arms and legs, and lie down on an examination bed.
- The medical technician will attach 10 to 12 sticky patches, or electrodes, to your bare skin – one on each limb and up to eight in pre-defined locations on your chest.
- The electrodes will read the electric impulses generated by your heartbeat.
- The data from the electric impulses will be used to create a visualization of your heartbeat on a computer screen or graph paper.
The whole test is very fast, taking only about 10 minutes. When it is complete, our cardiologists can then examine the resulting images for abnormalities and begin to formulate a diagnosis.
When to Get an EKG
At Richmond University Medical Center, we will request an EKG as part of a routine examination or when you report symptoms that indicate conditions we can detect with an EKG. These symptoms include the following:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
An EKG may also be ordered if you face an increased risk of heart disease due to diabetes, a family history of heart problems, existing heart conditions, smoking or alcohol use, stress, high cholesterol, or other risk factors.
Schedule Cardiology Testing Today
Diagnostic tests like EKGs are essential for ensuring an accurate diagnosis and reliable treatment. At Richmond University Medical Center, our cardiology experts conduct comprehensive tests and evaluations to provide the best possible care for your condition. To schedule an EKG in Staten Island, contact us today.