Electrocardiogram (ECG)

What is an electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram (ECG – or EKG in the US) is a standard non-invasive cardiovascular test that records the electrical activity of your heart to measure its rate and rhythm. The recorded electrical waves can be analysed to look for evidence of cardiovascular problems including (but not limited to) heart chamber enlargement, heart muscle thickness and previous heart muscle damage.

At Venturi Cardiology we conduct 12-lead ECG scans, which are then analysed by a consultant cardiologist. They will explain the results to you and how they relate to the condition of your heart. An ECG is usually one of the first tests that you will have and is often a test that is repeated to monitor changes over time.

We will provide you and your GP with a copy of your ECG and the report so it can be referred back to if necessary. If you have had an ECG before and a copy is available, then we can make comparisons when we do ours, in order to look for any significant changes.

How should I prepare for an ECG? What happens on the day?

During an ECG ten small stickers are placed on different parts of your body – two on your arms, two on your legs and six on your chest. This enables the electrical activity of the heart to be recorded from 12 different angles. This 12-lead approach is considered the gold standard in ECG monitoring. Once attached, the stickers are connected by wires to an ECG machine and the electrical activity is recorded and printed out on to specially calibrated paper.

Before you can have an ECG test you will need to remove your top items of clothing, as well as your shoes and socks. The test takes only a few minutes and is completely painless.

To find out more about ECGs visit the British Heart Foundation here – or download this guide.

ECG and echo tests with an independent or private provider

A private ECG (electrocardiogram) and an echocardiogram (echo) test are performed by heart specialists. They are requested when a medical professional or cardiologist suspects you may have a problem with your heart. If you have the test is carried out with the NHS, you may be waiting for an echocardiogram test or an ECG for some time, in which case, finding an independent or private ECG provider nearby can reduce your waiting time and offer you greater peace of mind. For whatever reason, you may decide that a private ECG or echocardiogram test is the best option for you.

Under NHS care, it’s not always possible to request an echocardiogram test if you don’t have evidence or strong reason to suspect you’re suffering from a heart condition. A private ECG can be requested by anyone at any time, even if you’re not currently experiencing any symptoms. Finding an independent provider or a private ECG near me can offer peace of mind to those with an increased risk of developing a heart condition. They can be a valuable indicator of general health in patients seeking a complete medical check-up. If you’re looking to make changes to your lifestyle and improve your general health, a private ECG can determine if you need to focus your attention on improving your heart health too.

An echocardiogram test or a private ECG near me are both available to all patients, including those currently under NHS care or those with existing private medical insurance. Most private ECG providers offer a variety of ECG’s. These include:

  • Resting ECG (where a patient lies still)
  • Ambulatory ECG (a patient will wear a portable recording device for 24 hours, and you’ll be free to move around normally)
  • Exercise Stress Test (this test will record your ECG while you ride on an exercise bike or treadmill)

An echocardiogram test with an independent or private provider can give you an immediate insight into your heart health by using an ultrasound scan to assess the structure and function of the heart. If you decide to have an echocardiogram test done privately, you’ll have access to same-day appointments.

With Venturi Cardiology, booking an ECG is a simple process. In the first instance, you will need a consultation with one of our consultant cardiologists. They will then advise you as to the best test for you, based on your symptoms, lifestyle and family history. For more information or to book a consultation click here

Patients can quickly and easily find the diagnostic care they need with Venturi Cardiology. We provide rapid access to a number of tests including an ECG and echocardiogram. Our central location in the heart of the North West, with easy access to the M6 and M62, gives many people easy access to our state-of-the-art facilities.

We see both privately insured and self funding patients.

Please see our packages for self funding rates. We offer video consultations for patients who do not want to travel.

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