An electrocardiogram, or EKG, is a short and simple test that provides lots of information about your heart function. In some cases, an EKG is a routine preoperative test, while in other cases, it might be warranted to evaluate your heart health. Because the team at 1st Choice Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California can perform an EKG onsite, you can get your results the same day. Caring family practitioner Yadwinder Kang, MD and his team offer flexible scheduling and same-day appointments for EKGs, so you can get the answers you need. Call the clinic to schedule, or book your appointment online.
Why do I need an EKG?
An EKG is the safest and most effective non-invasive way to evaluate your heart health and function. Your doctor might order an EKG if you’re experiencing certain symptoms, such as an abnormal heart rhythm or fainting spells. It’s also common to need an EKG before going in for a procedure that requires general anesthesia, just to make sure your heart is in good health. An EKG can:
- Evaluate your heart rhythm
- Diagnose a heart attack
- Evaluate your blood flow
- Check your overall heart performance
An EKG even lets your doctor know if something is abnormal with your heart, such as if you have a thickened heart muscle.
How is an EKG performed?
You don’t need to do anything in particular to prepare for your EKG and the entire test takes less than 10 minutes, so you can easily get it done over your lunch break. Before getting started, your practitioner attaches 10 electrodes to various points on your chest, arms, and legs. Because the electrodes need to be close to your skin, you might need to shave the small patch of skin if you have hair in the area.
All you have to do during the test is lie back and relax. The electrodes — which don’t cause any discomfort or sensation — send your heart’s electrical activity back to the computer system. This generates a report of your heart’s function.
What does it mean if my EKG is abnormal?
Don’t stress right away if you have an abnormal EKG reading — a simple electrolyte imbalance or period of dehydration are sometimes the causes of abnormal EKG reports. Even prescription medications can throw off an EKG reading. In more serious cases, an irregular EKG could be a sign of:
- Irregular heart shape or size
- Heart attack
- Blood flow issues
Your practitioner generally orders additional tests and lab work to further evaluate your heart health before making a diagnosis and getting you started on treatment.
If you have a history of heart problems or are experiencing an irregular heartbeat, schedule an evaluation at 1st Choice Urgent Care. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can also schedule a same-day appointment by calling the clinic, or by booking an appointment online.