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711 W Center St | West Bridgewater, MA 02379 | (508) 583-1100

Services / Cardiac Testing

Electrocardiogram and Holter Monitoring

Electrocardiograms

What is an electrocardiogram? 

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is an easy, noninvasive test that records the electrical activity of your heart.  Small stickers will be placed on your chest and connected to long wires called electrodes and a recording of your heart's electrical activity will be recorded on a piece of paper.  Shortly after the test is performed it will be analyzed by a provider and the results will be reviewed with you.

Why is an electrocardiogram performed?

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is an easy and effective way to gain information about your heart's rhythm.  An ECG can reveal arrhythmias (abnormal electrical activity), lack of blood flow through the heart muscle (also known as ischemia or a heart attack), and thickening of the heart muscle.

What is the preparation for an electrocardiogram? 

There is no special preparation needed for an electrocardiogram.

When is an electrocardiogram performed?

You can expect to have an ECG on your first visit to establish a baseline heart rhythm and then annually and as needed throughout the year.

What if my electrocardiogram is abnormal?

The results of your electrocardiogram will be reviewed with you at your visit.  Depending on your results you may need further cardiac testing such as a stress test, an echocardiogram or a holter monitor. At Bridgewater Primary Care and Cardiology we conveniently offer additional cardiac testing in our office.

Holter Monitor

What is a Holter Monitor?

A Holter monitor is a portable electrocardiogram (ECG) that monitors your hearts rhythm for 24 hours. Similar to the ECG, small stickers and electrodes will be placed on your chest and connected to a small box that keeps record of your hearts electrical activity, or rhythm, for approximately 24 hours. After the 24 hours is completed, simply return to the office and the monitor will be removed. Due to the length of this study it typically takes 1-2 weeks before results are available.

Why is a Holter Monitor test performed?

Your provider may order a Holter Monitor test for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include: abnormalities on your electrocardiogram, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or a racing heart beat.

What is the preparation for a Holter Monitor?

There is no special preparation needed for an electrocardiogram.

When is a Holter Monitor performed?

A Holter Monitor is performed when new abnormalities on your electrocardiogram are noted, when new symptoms present, or annually to follow a previously diagnosed heart condition.

What if my Holter Monitor is abnormal?

Your provider will schedule a follow up appointment with you 2-4 weeks after your Holter Monitor test to review the results. At this time medication changes and any further testing needed to assess your heart will be ordered as needed.