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An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a recording of the heart’s electrical activity. In addition to recording your heart rate and heart rhythm, this test can detect a decreased flow of blood to the heart muscle and an enlarged heart—both of which could impact your surgical outcome.

What to Expect

Unlike many other pre-operative tests, you are permitted to eat and drink normally prior to your EKG. You should wear loose-fitting clothing, as you will need to remove your shirt prior to the exam.

When the test is administered, you will be taken to an examination room where you will lie on a table. The technician will place small, gel covered pads called electrodes to your chest. These will be applied from the middle of your chest towards your left arm. They will also place a gel pad on each leg and each arm.

After the pads have been applied, the technician will clip the EKG leads to the tab on the electrode—you will not feel this. Once the technician is satisfied that everything is placed where it should be, you will be asked to lie very still. This test will take about one or two minutes and does not hurt.

If your physician has also ordered an exercise stress test, you may be required to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while your EKG is performed. If an exercise stress test has been ordered, you will receive specific instructions from the technician when you schedule your appointment.

Your physician will work with a cardiologist (heart specialist) to interpret your EKG results, which should be ready in two to three days. If any risk factors or underlying conditions are detected, your surgeon will address these issues before performing your bariatric procedure.

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