What is a Heart Trace Procedure?
The heart trace procedure is nothing but electrocardiogram, also known as ECG. Heart trace procedure medical test is used to investigate the heart and detect abnormalities associated with it by measuring the electrical impulses generated by the heart as it contracts. The electrical activity is recorded and displayed as a trace on a paper.
What Happens in a Heart Trace Procedure?
The heart trace procedure of electrocardiogram is completely harmless and quick. It can be done at a hospital or clinic by a technician or trained nurse.
- The patient is asked to lie on the table so provided facing upwards.
- Electrodes need to be attached and limbs. These electrodes work as sensors which help in the detection of heart’s impulses. Thus, the patient’s upper clothing has to be removed for attaching the electrodes.
- The electrodes are then attached to the chest, arms and legs with the help of suction cup and sticky gel. The electrodes are connected to the machine that records the heart’s electrical signal.
- After the patient is asked to relax and breathe normally, the machine is started. While it records the heart’s electrical activity, the patient has to lie down still.
- The impulses are printed in a paper called the ECG report. After this, the electrodes are removed and the test gets over.
The whole heart trace procedure is completed within a period of ten minutes. Thus heart trace procedure is a quick yet safe and painless process to detect heart complications.
How Does it Feel While Undergoing a Heart Trace Procedure?
The heart trace procedure or electrocardiogram is a completely painless test without any risk associated with it. No electricity is passed through the body. The electrodes, when attached to the patient’s body with the sticky gel, may provide a cooling sensation to the patient. In some rare cases, some people may develop rashes or irritation on the areas where electrodes are placed. This is nothing to worry about as in goes away within few days.
What are the Types of Heart Trace Procedure?
There are primarily three types of heart trace procedure which are recommended according to the patient’s symptoms. They are-
Resting Heart Trace Procedure – This is the most conventional form of an electrocardiogram. The patient is asked to relax while lying down on the table during the test.
Ambulatory Heart Trace Procedure – The ambulatory ECG is also called the Holter ECG. This is done using a portable record device that is worn for 24 hours. The patient is free to move about normally while the monitor records the heart’s activity. This type of ECG is used for patients recovering from heart attack. They are monitored in this way to be sure of the normal functioning of their heart.
Cardiac Stress Test- This test is taken to record a patient’s heart activity while they walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike. This type of electrocardiogram takes about 15 to 30 minutes.
What to Do After a Heart Trace Procedure?
As mentioned earlier such heart trace procedure are non-invasive and do not require any medications or local anaesthesia. After the process of a heart trace procedure, the patient can resume his normal activities immediately. No aftercare or recovery time is required for this heart trace procedure. The results of the heart trace procedure report can be given on that day itself to the patient. The doctor can check the results and explain the same to the patient on the day of the test performed or on the next appointment. It is to be remembered that the patient might have to go for other sets of tests if the heart trace procedure report shows a presence of heart problems.