Why do I need an ECG?
Electrocardiogram (ECG) is one of the commonest bedside tests performed in hospital and is used to assess your heart's rhythm and electrical activity. It is used as part of our routine pre-surgery assessment to screen for any previously unknown heart conditions that may impact on your suitability for surgery. It can also be used to investigate symptoms of a possible heart problem, such as chest pain, suddenly noticeable heartbeats (palpitations), dizziness or shortness of breath in the post-operative period.
How is an ECG performed?
An ECG is a simple, non-painful test performed by a qualified medical practitioner or other trained member of staff. It involves lying on a bed and having sensors attached to the skin of the chest wall, wrists and ankles. These sensors are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats and are recorded by a machine. A paper tracing is then produced of your ECG which is assessed by your doctor.
When are the results of an ECG available?
The results from an ECG organised by your surgeon will be communicated to you as soon as possible. Occasionally, a second opinion is sought from a cardiologist which may introduce a delay.