An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a painless and non-invasive study that records the heart’s electrical activity. During this study, a total of 12 adhesives (sticky) leads (small metal electrodes), will be placed on your wrists, ankles and chest. These leads are in turn connected to wires that transmit electrical signals to the EKG machine. The machine transforms the signals into patterns or waves. Different waves represent different areas of your heart through which electrical currents flow. These waves are recorded on paper as they move through the EKG machine, showing the heart rate and rhythm. The appearance of the wave patterns enables your healthcare provider to assess abnormal rhythms, damage to the heart muscle, and/or irritation of the membrane around the heart (pericarditis). A basic EKG is quick, painless and non-invasive. A written report along with the actual tracing of the patterns will be sent to your referring healthcare provider.