What is Holter Monitoring?
Holter monitoring involves a portable device that allows a continuous ECG to be taken. An ECG measures the heart’s electrical activity, including the time it takes for the signal to travel between the different areas of the heart, as well as its strength. A traditional ECG measures the heart’s rhythm in just a few seconds, but Holter monitoring measures the heart’s activity for an extended period of time, typically between 24 and 48 hours.
Why is Holter Monitoring Done?
A Holter monitor may be needed if problems with the heart’s activity are irregular and may be missed by a traditional ECG. In many cases, patients report symptoms that come and go, and an ECG may not record the heart long enough to catch irregularities. The Holter monitor allows a more extensive report of the heart’s activity and any changes that occur during daily activity and rest. This gives Dr. Beshai a better idea of what could be triggering symptoms.
When is Holter Monitoring Needed?
- Racing heart
- Dizziness or fainting
- Sensation of the heart skipping a beat
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How is Holter Monitoring Performed?
To begin your Holter monitoring process, several electrodes will be placed on the chest. If you have a hairy chest, this area might be shaved to ensure firm attachment. These electrodes will measure several different areas of the heart. Once all electrodes are firmly in place, your Holter monitor will be explained. The Holter monitor is a battery-operated device, about the size of a small camera. You will be asked to keep the device in your pocket, attached to the waist, or across your shoulders.
Once you have been set up with your Holter monitor, you are encouraged to go about your regular activities for the next 24-48 hours. However, you will need to avoid bathing, showering, or swimming while the monitor is in place. Besides wearing the Holter monitor, you will also be asked to record your activity and your symptoms. Keeping a log of your symptoms and when they happen is an essential part of the process and will help Dr. Beshai understand your condition.
What are the Next Steps After Holter Monitoring?
After your Holter monitoring period is over, you will return to Dr. Beshai and your heart activity record will be processed. You will also hand in your symptoms log which Dr. Beshai will review closely and compare with your ECG record. The results of your Holter monitoring test will typically be ready in one to two weeks. Depending on the results, Dr. Beshai may recommend additional testing or he may have enough information to begin developing your treatment plan to manage your symptoms.
Schedule Your Holter Monitoring Appointment
Dr. Beshai uses the ECG and Holter monitoring as an important diagnostic test that can detect abnormalities in the heart rhythm and where they’re coming from. When it comes to the heart, early screening and monitoring is essential, even if symptoms have not occurred yet. If you think you could benefit from Holter monitoring, contact our office and schedule your appointment at the Heart Rhythm Institute of Arizona.
The Heart Institute of Arizona has a wide array of services that come with our premium care. From in-office dianostics and treatable conditions, to hospital based procedures, we’ve got your heart covered.