An electrocardiogram (uh-lek-trow-KAA-dee-uh-gram) is a test that records electrical signals as they travel through your heart. A standard procedure, an ECG is quick and non-invasive. The whole process only takes a few minutes.
PATIENT INFORMATION: Before your appointment, please read our patient information page with essential information on our location, parking, payment options and more.
Why do I need an ECG?
ECGs are performed on people of all ages as a way of diagnosing many common heart problems. For example, an electrocardiogram can detect:
- Any structural problems in your heart
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Narrowed or blocked arteries (coronary heart disease) causing heart attack or chest pain
- Evidence of a previous heart attack
- The performance of particular heart disease treatments, such as a pacemaker
Risks and complications
An ECG is a very safe procedure. There are virtually no side-effects, other than the small risk of a slight rash developing where the adhesive patches were placed.
Do I need to prepare for an ECG?
- You do not need to prepare for an ECG
- Please bring your referral to the appointment
What happens during my ECG procedure?
Your ECG procedure will be quick and completely painless. It will be performed by a trained technician, and only takes a few minutes. Here’s what’s involved.
- You’ll be asked to slip into a hospital gown. Then, you’ll be taken to a private room and will lie down comfortably on a bed.
- If you have hair on the parts of your body where we will place the electrodes, the technician may shave the hair so that the electrodes stick.
- The technician will attach electrodes to your chest and limbs. You will lie still and breathe normally so that the electrodes can measure your heart’s electrical activity.
- During the procedure, the electrocardiograph will display the activity on a monitor. You’ll see a wavy line with a series of spikes, which illustrate your heart’s activity.
- Our cardiologist will examine the activity to ascertain whether your heart activity is normal or irregular.
What happens next?
- The cardiologist will discuss the results and further plans of action with you. He will also send the results to your GP and any other appropriate medical professionals or employers who have your consent.
- Providing you are feeling well, you can go straight back to your normal activities.