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Removed ovaries due to adnexal mass. Does my EKG result depend on my position during testing?

Hi, I am a 62 year-old female. I went in for pre-op testing yesterday for DaVinci surgical procedure next Friday to remove both ovaries/fallopian tubes -- diagnosis: adnexal mass on rt ovary , with CA-125 level = 36. The doctor s office called me today to tell me that the EKG reading stated that I have a probable left atrial abnormality, and I have a doctor s appointment on MONDAY (I have to worry now all weekend about this additional problem.) for further evaluation because I am now considered a pre-op cardiac risk. I was surprised about how the EKG was administered yesterday; three years ago after an auto accident, I had to have a discectomy , and the EKG was performed. But that time, I had to remove all clothes from my waist up, and my chest was exposed for the procedure. This time after my blood was drawn, the technician told me to take off my blouse, I kept my bra on, and she placed the electrodes on me above and below my breasts, etc. Would the fact that I was sitting up versus lying down have affected the results? I don t know if this matters, but I have big breasts, and even with my bra on, she told me to lift up my breast so she could attach the electrodes beneath them. I was really nervous already about my upcoming surgery, but now this ... I am an anxious patient, with white coat syndrome; I have not had good experiences with doctors, so I assume that this may have something to do with my feelings. Thanks for any reassurance you can give me so I can maybe relax until MONDAY! (It is only Thursday now, and I was told that this is the soonest they could squeeze me in for further evaluation.)
Asked On : Mon, 5 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  29
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Dear patient,

Thanks for your concerns. Yes, body position and interference by breast tissue can change the results of an EKG. If you think about it, it measures the electricity coming from inside the heart; the more tissue interposed between the heart and the electrodes in the surface, the smaller the voltage. Relaxing and allowing the techs to find the best position for the electrodes helps a lot!

Yours truly,

Dr Brenes-Salazar MD
Mayo Clinic MN
Answered: Thu, 13 Jun 2013
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