When your doctor may suggests you get an electrocardiogram -- also called an EKG or ECG -- it is to check for signs of heart disease. It's a test that records the electrical activity of your ticker through small electrode patches that a technician attaches to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs.
EKGs are quick, safe, and painless. With this test, your doctor will be able to:
- Check your heart rhythm
- See if you have poor blood flow to your heart muscle (this is called ischemia)
- Diagnose a heart attack
- Check on things that are abnormal, such as thickened heart muscle
How Should I Prepare?
Some things you can do to get yourself ready:
- Avoid oily or greasy skin creams and lotions the day of the test because they can keep the electrodes from making contact with your skin.
- Avoid full-length hosiery, because electrodes need to be placed directly on your legs.
- Wear a shirt that you can remove easily to place the leads on your chest.
What Happens During an Electrocardiogram?
A technician will attach 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. If you're a guy, you may need to have your chest hair shaved to allow a better connection.
During the test you'll lie flat while a computer creates a picture, on graph paper, of the electrical impulses that move through your heart. This is called a "resting" EKG, although the same test may be used to check your heart while you exercise.
It takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test, but the actual recording takes only a few seconds.
Your doctor will keep your EKG patterns on file so that he can compare them to tests you get in the future. - Web MD
My test showed a Left Bundle Branch Block or LBB. More information to be sent over to the Cardiologist.
A bundle branch block is a condition in which there's a delay or blockage along the pathway that electrical impulses travel to make your heart beat. It sometimes makes it harder for your heart to pump blood efficiently through your body.
The delay or blockage can occur on the pathway that sends electrical impulses either to the left or the right side of the bottom chambers (ventricles) of your heart.
Bundle branch block might not need treatment. When it does, treatment involves managing the health condition, such as heart disease, that caused bundle branch block.
In most people, bundle branch block doesn't cause symptoms. Some people with the condition don't know they have a bundle branch block.
Signs and symptoms in people who have them might include:
- Fainting (syncope)
- Feeling as if you're going to faint (presyncope)
When to see a doctor
If you've fainted, see your doctor to rule out serious causes.
If you have heart disease, or if your doctor has already diagnosed you as having bundle branch block, ask your doctor how often you should have follow-up visits. You might want to carry a medical alert card that identifies you as having bundle branch block in case a doctor who isn't familiar with your medical history sees you in an emergency. - Mayo Clinic
I have just made an appointment with the cardiologist, and they have asked me to come in to get a 24 hour holster monitor before my appointment. Fingers crossed!