At the office of Dr. William E. Kalafatic, we strive to provide our clients with the very best in cardiology care available across NYC. Its important to understand that the heart and the cardiovascular system overall, is one of the most vital aspects of one’s health and overall wellness – especially as we begin to age. And while there are a number of different symptoms and tell-tale signs out there that can begin to point towards issues with your heart health and cardiovascular systems, one of the most important tools in the arsenal of any good doctor, and more specifically a cardiologist, has got to be the use of diagnostic testing tools such as the EKG, ECG or Electrocardiogram. Dr. Kalafatic and his team use the EKG as a tool that provides a quick, yet careful analysis of the heart – allowing them to identify the possibility of any issues, both major and minor, that might be affecting the health of your heart.
What is an EKG?
Often referred to as an ECG, or Electrocardiogram, the EKG is a form of diagnostic testing used by cardiologists in order to take an accurate measurements of the heart’s natural electrical activity. In many instances, patients will often confuse this test with an echo or echocardiogram. However, unlike an echo, which provides us with a visual understanding of the heart, through the use of sound waves, an EKG works by measuring the electrical activity that is created as a result of an individual’s heartbeat.
To understand how an EKG works its important to understand what happens with each beat of the heart. With each successive beat, an electrical wave passes through the heart muscle, thus causing it to contract and as a result, pump our blood throughout our body. The EKG is a device that allows us to be able to measure the timing of this activity, in both the upper and lower chambers of the heart – in essence allowing us to determine if the heart is pumping effectively or not.
What Can We See from an EKG?
As a result of an electrocardiogram test, we generally are able to see two different types of information. The first being the length of time that it takes fro the electrical waves to pass through the hear. Using such information, your cardiologist will be able to determine whether the waves are passing irregularly in any way – whether they might be too fast or too slow, it can often be a strong indicator of an irregular heartbeat and some form of cardiovascular dysfunction.
The second piece of information that we are able to glean from the use of an EKG is the amount of electrical activity that passes through the heart muscle in total. By identifying such information, your cardiologist will be able to make a determination of whether the heart may be too large or it might be overworked in one way ir another.
Normal Versus Abnormal EKG Readings
In general, a normal EKG reading will show that the heart is functioning at its normal levels, and in the event that the patient might have other symptoms such as chest pains – a normal reading can help your doctor to look elsewhere, and to find an alternative diagnosis. However, its important to understand that an abnormal EKG or ECG can mean many things. Sometimes these abnormalities are simply a normal variation of your heart rhythm. Other times, they can signal an imminent heart attack. There are also a number of possibilities between these two extremes. Dr. Kalafatic and his team use EKG results in conjunction with other diagnostic measures in order to find out what might be ailing a patient. While one test isn’t always good on its own, the combination o multiple tests will generally be far more accurate.
Why Get an EKG Done?
In many instances, heart issues are often congenital, and you may not always know when they are coming as symptoms can be few, and without warning sometimes. This is why its always vital for even the healthiest of individuals to visit the doctor and schedule an appointment with a cardiologist at some point in order to have your heart looked at and carefully analyzed by a professional. In other cases as well, patients might be experiencing unwanted symptoms such as chest pains, trouble breathing, loss of feeling and numbness – while they might not always be, they are often a sign of cardiovascular dysfunction and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you or your loved ones might be experiencing any such issues, don’t delay, be use to contact Dr. Kalafatic and his team and schedule your electrocardiogram now.