A change in your heartbeat is certainly scary. While sometimes it’s a result of a benign issue, other times it may signal something more dangerous.
A cardiac rhythm test helps your doctor see what’s going on with your heartbeat so you can get proper treatment.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, our medical team is ready to help you when you’re concerned about your heart health. Two heart and vascular specialists, Hesham Fakhri, MD, and Abdulghani Saadi, MD, lead our team. Both doctors are experts in cardiac rhythm testing and can help you with the treatment you need.
What is a cardiac rhythm test?
A cardiac rhythm test is a way to determine what type of rhythm pattern your heart is in, so our team understands what’s causing your symptoms.
For example, if you’re experiencing an irregularly fast heartbeat, this test can determine if you’re suffering from sinus tachycardia or a more severe condition like supraventricular tachycardia.
Your heart's rhythm says a lot about your overall heart health. In fact, it can sometimes show if you’ve suffered a heart attack in the past.
There are many different types of tests we can use to see how your heart is beating and what your rhythm is. But the most common type of cardiac rhythm test is an electrocardiogram (EKG).
An EKG is a noninvasive test that shows your heart's electrical activity. The test takes just a few minutes. Our team can see your cardiac rhythm right away, so we can provide quick and effective treatment.
How do you perform the test?
After changing into a gown, you lie on your back in a comfortable position. The EKG technician places sticky pads known as electrodes on specific areas on your chest, arms, and legs.
The pads pick up the electrical impulses from your heart. The machine interprets the electrical signals from your heart and prints the rhythm on EKG paper.
The entire procedure only takes a few minutes, and once it’s finished, the technician removes the electrode pads. It’s painless and gives our team insight into how your heart is working.
Reasons you may need a cardiac rhythm test
One of the most common reasons for a cardiac rhythm test is to determine what type of arrhythmia you’re experiencing. There are a number of different arrhythmias, each with their own specific tracing on a cardiac rhythm test.
If you have palpitations, it could be due to some type of arrhythmia.
But palpitations and arrhythmias aren’t the only reasons we might order a cardiac rhythm test. Other problems that could warrant this type of test include:
- Suspected heart attack
- Probable heart damage
- Heart failure
- Blocked arteries
Dr. Fakhri and Dr. Saadi may also recommend an EKG if you’ve been experiencing certain symptoms that may signal a problem with your heart, such as:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Extreme fatigue
An EKG is also a good tool if you have any family history of heart problems or if you’re taking medications for some type of heart disease.
If you’re experiencing any symptoms with your heart, a cardiac rhythm test can help us determine your need for assistive devices, like a pacemaker.
If you’re suffering from chronic cardiac arrhythmias, we may recommend a pacemaker to regulate your heart’s rhythm.
Basically, anytime you’re concerned about problems with your heart, a cardiac rhythm test can help us determine if there’s anything to worry about.
Don’t continue to suffer from heart palpitations. Call one of our offices in Wesley Chapel, Sun City Center, or Tampa, Florida, today. You can also request a consultation using our convenient online booking tool.