What is an electrocardiogram?

An ECG records the hearts electrical activity and records it as a line tracing called waves. The shapes and frequencies of these tracings reveal abnormalities in the heart’s anatomy or function. These conditions may vary in severity from minor to life-threatening.

What to expect

You will remove clothing from the upper part of the body. You will lie on a bed and a nurse/technician or doctor will place the leads attached to electrode stickers or small suction cups across the chest and under the breast area to the left side of the body. Other leads will be placed on your arms (wrist area) and ankles. Men may need to be shaved so the leads can be attached to the body, but that will depend on the amount of hair on the chest area.

Having an ECG is a painless procedure with no risks associated to the procedure.


Having an ECG gives your doctor a baseline guide to your heart’s function at the time of recording.

Not all symptoms or disorders will be captured by this test as they may come and go, therefore requiring the patient to undergo further investigations and/or a repeat ECG when symptoms are present.

Your doctor will discuss the ECG results with you during your consultation.