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If there is a concern that you have a slow, fast or irregular heartbeat, your cardiologist may recommend wearing a Holter monitor. This portable device is worn continuously for about 24 to 48 hours or longer, depending on the type of monitoring needed. The device is small, and attaches to your chest with electrodes to record the electrical activity of your heart throughout the day.
Aside from checking the regularity of your heartbeat, your cardiologist may recommend wearing a Holter monitor to see if your medicines are managing your health problems. The results will help your cardiologist decide whether you need additional testing and medication, or if you require a pacemaker to repair your irregular heart rhythm. And if you have a pacemaker, Holter monitoring can help us determine whether it is working properly.
How Do Holter Monitors Work?
When you get an electrocardiogram (EKG) from your cardiologist, it allows us to see your heart's activity at that specific moment. Unfortunately for those with abnormal heart rhythms, their symptoms often come and go, and may not be caught by an EKG. That's why your cardiologist may recommend wearing a Holter monitor while you go about your normal daily activities.
When you come in for your monitor, we will talk to you about how to record your symptoms while you wear it. Then we will attach the electrodes to your chest. Once the electrodes have been placed, we will help you put the monitor on and talk to you about how to care for it.
The monitor can easily fit into a pocket or hang around your shoulder like a purse. While you can go about your normal day-to-day activities wearing the monitor, don't bathe or shower while wearing it, and stay away from metal detectors and X-rays.
Once the test period is over, you will return the monitor to us and we will create a report based on your results. You'll come back for your results in a week or two.
Questions about Holter monitors? Coping with an irregular heartbeat? Then it's time you called our cardiology office today!