Family Medical Center is pleased to provide a variety of specialty cardiology testing services here in our office. We partner with Florida Cardiology P.A. to offer services for carotid doppler testing, echocardiograms, and 24-hour Holter monitor testing.
A Holter monitor is a battery-operated portable device that measures and records your heart’s activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on the type of monitoring used. The device is the size of a small camera. It has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to your skin. The Holter monitor and other devices that record your ECG as you go about your daily activities are called ambulatory electrocardiograms.
You may be asked to wear a Holter monitor to see if you have a slow, fast or irregular (uneven) heartbeat. Or, your doctor may use it to see how well your medicines are working to treat these problems. If you have a pacemaker and feel dizzy, your doctor may use a Holter monitor to find out if your pacemaker is working correctly.
This monitor has no risks and wearing it isn’t painful. The results of wearing a Holter monitor will help you and your doctor decide if you need more tests or medicines for your heart, or if you need a pacemaker or cardioversion procedure to restore regular heart rhythm.
What Does it Do?
A specially trained technician will attach the Holter monitor and instruct you how to record your symptoms while wearing it.
The technician first attaches the electrodes to your chest. If you have a hairy chest, he or she may shave some hair off to connect the electrodes firmly. Once the electrodes are in place, the technician helps you put the Holter monitor on and explains how to take care of it. You can carry the monitor in a pocket or pouch, slung across your shoulders and neck like a purse or camera, or attach it to your waist.
Do your usual activities while you wear the monitor with these exceptions:
- Don’t bathe, shower or swim while wearing the monitor
- Don’t have X-rays while wearing the monitor
- Stay away from high-voltage areas, metal detectors or large magnets
The technician will show you how to keep a diary of your activities and symptoms during the test. Maintaining an accurate diary is essential. If you feel symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats or dizziness, note in your diary the time of day they began and what you were doing. Your diary will be compared to the changes in your ECG recorded by the Holter monitor.
After the test period, return the monitor to the technician. He or she will process the record of your heart activity and prepare a report for your doctor. This will include the notes in your diary. You should get the results of the test in one or two weeks.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms may include: thumping, pounding, or racing sensation in your chest fluttering sensation in your chest feeling of irregular beating or skipped beats.
Source: The American Heart Association