Holter Monitor Testing Questions and Answers
Monitor your heart health and keep yourself fit. Our specialists at Bridgewater Primary Care & Cardiology in West Bridgewater, MA are proud to provide cardiac health services. For more information, call us or book an appointment online.
Electrocardiograms and holter monitoring
We perform electrocardiograms on our patients to further evaluate the electrical conduction to determine previous or developing damage to the heart. We use state of the art Holter Monitors to determine whether the patient is having any significant cardiac arrhythmias such as Supraventricular Tachycardia, Atrial Fibrillation, Atrial Flutter, Ventricular Tachycardia or Brady-Arrhythmias.
Heart health is important, no matter where we are. Holter monitors are diagnostic tools that provide in-depth detail about the function of the heart and can detect several abnormalities with it. These special monitoring devices are similar to electrocardiograms, however they are designed to take continuous readings over the span of 24 to 72 hours. Due to this timeframe, Holter monitors are taken home with the patient to continue to collect data about a person’s heart health. They can help detect and diagnose several different conditions that affect the heart, including arrhythmia (heart rhythm abnormalities), heart palpitations and tachycardia.
What is a holter monitor?
The Holter monitor is a portable electrocardiogram. It is designed to continuously record the electrical activity of the heart over 24 hours or longer, while the patient is away from the doctor’s office. One of the simplest and fastest tests used to evaluate the heart is a standard or “resting” EKG. Small, plastic patches called electrodes that stick to the skin are placed at certain points on the chest and abdomen. Electrodes are connected to an EKG via wires, which can detect the heart’s activity. Using an EKG or Holter monitor, the electrical activity of the heart can be measured, recorded, and printed. The device does not send any electricity into the body.
Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the different parts of the heart, which keeps blood flowing the way it should. A Holter monitor records these impulses to show the strength and timing of the electrical impulses, the rhythm of the heart beats, and how fast the heart is beating. Changes in an EKG can be indicative of many heart-related conditions, including previous heart attacks and arrhythmia.
What does a heart holter detect?
Holter monitors can find the cause of:
- Arrhythmia (heart rhythm abnormalities)
- Heart palpitations
- Unexplained dizziness
They can also determine how well the:
- Heart is getting oxygen
- Heart medications are working
- Pacemaker is working
Why is holter monitoring done?
Holter monitoring is used to determine how the heart responds to normal activity, including basic exercises like walking. The monitor may also be used:
- After a heart attack
- To diagnose heart rhythm problems with symptoms including:
- Syncope (passing out/fainting)
How do I prepare for my heart monitor holter?
Preparation for a Holter monitor is quite simple and does not require much beforehand. When using a Holter monitor, it is important to:
- Keep the Holter monitor dry
- Take a shower before the appointment
- Do not apply any lotions or creams
- Avoid activities that could expose the monitor to moisture
- Avoid areas of high voltage
- Avoid electrical and magnetic fields
The Holter may need to be applied again in an event where misreadings or false-positives occur.
How long does it take to get results from a holter monitor?
Scanning all of the Holter monitor information into a computer and having the heart doctor interpret the information is a time-consuming process and usually takes about 2 weeks. Even if the results are normal, patients will be notified. If you or someone you love needs to monitor the health of their heart, come to Bridgewater Primary Care & Cardiology. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced providers of Holter monitors and can help you stay on top of your health. Call us today at (508) 469-4626 to book an appointment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 711 W Center St, West Bridgewater, MA 02379. We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from West Bridgewater MA, Taunton MA, Middleborough MA, Plymouth MA, Pembroke MA, Braintree MA, Mansfield MA, Stoughton MA, Wareham MA, Somerset MA, Attleboro MA, Brockton MA, Abington MA, and surrounding areas.