What Is A Holter Monitor?
A Holter monitor is a small heart rhythm (ECG) recorder that you wear for 24 to 48 hours while carrying out your normal activities. The monitor records your heart rhythms, including any abnormal rhythms that might occur. You will get the Holter monitor at either your cardiologist’s (heart doctor’s) office or the Cardiac Services Department of Doylestown Hospital.
What Does The Recording Show?
The Holter monitor will constantly record your heart rhythm (ECG). Since symptoms that could be related to abnormal heart rhythms might not be felt during a 30 second routine ECG, the Holter monitor will let the doctor view and analyze this longer ECG recording. The doctor can then tell if your symptoms and heart activity are related. During the monitoring it is very important to keep a detailed diary, writing down exact symptoms, time of symptoms and what your activity was during those symptoms.
How Is It Done?
You will have five areas on your chest cleaned with alcohol and rubbed with a solution. Five electrodes (small sticky patches) are then placed on your chest. Recording wires will be taped to your chest to help hold them in place. Men may need to have hairy areas of their chest clipped. You do not have to undress, but you may be asked to lift your blouse or shirt.
The wires connect to the recorder, which is worn in a "fanny pack" around your waist.
You will be told how to care for and use of the monitor. You may follow your usual daily routine, while keeping your diary. It is important for you to write down the medicines that you take and the times that you take them in your diary. Note the time that you feel any symptoms so that the time can be compared to your recording.
You cannot shower, bathe or swim while wearing the monitor. DO NOT get the wires, electrodes or monitor wet. Do not remove or replace the batteries in the monitor, as this could cause the recording to be partially or completely erased.
- Bring your diary with you when you return the monitor.
- Wear a loose fitting shirt/blouse.
- The Holter monitor is very safe to wear.
- You will be charged for usage of the Holter monitor and for the scanning of the recording.
- The cardiologist will charge for analyzing the ECG recording.
How Will I Get My Results?
After the monitor has been returned, your recording will be scanned. A printed report will be reviewed by a cardiologist. The cardiologist will contact your doctor directly if there are any significant abnormalities. Otherwise, your results will be ready from the doctor who ordered the recording in about one week.
PLEASE NOTE: If the results of your test need to be sent to a doctor who does not practice at Doylestown Hospital, you will need to provide the doctor's full name, address and, if possible, FAX number. You may give us this information on the day of your visit or call 215-345-2231 Monday through Friday 8AM – 4:30PM.