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Holter Monitoring

What is a Holter monitor? A Holter monitor is a small, wearable device that continually records your heart rhythm for 24 hours. The recorder is portable and can be worn on a strap around your neck. It is especially useful in diagnosing abnormal heart rhythms.

Why is it done?

  • To gather information if you have signs and symptoms of a heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).
  • To assess recurrent symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, or fainting spells.
  • To evaluate how well certain medications are working.

What should I expect when I arrive?

  • You should bathe before this appointment, because once your monitoring begins, you can not get the recorder wet or remove it to bathe.
  • You will check in with the receptionist at the Hanson Heart Center within Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph and be asked to fill out paperwork.
  • The technician will take you to the prep area to review your health history and answer your questions.
  • Bring a list of current medications including over-the-counter and herbal medications.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to apply the monitor.

What happens during the test?

  • Several areas on your chest will be prepped for electrode (sticky patches) placement.
  • Men may need to have some hair on the chest removed with electric clippers.
  • The electrodes will be attached to your chest and connected by wires to the recorder.
  • It’s very important that all electrodes remain attached for the entire recording period.
  • The Holter monitor will be placed in a carrying case that you can wear around your neck.
  • The technician or nurse will check the system to make sure it is working properly before you go home.

What to expect while wearing the monitor:

  • Holter monitoring is painless and noninvasive.
  • While you wear a Holter Monitor, you can carry out your usual daily activities.
  • You will be given a diary to write down any symptoms you may have during the recording 
    period. It will enable the nurse to relate your activities and symptoms with the ECG recording.
  • The information you will need to enter in the diary may include the following:

Your test results:

  • Your monitor is scanned by a nurse and analyzed by a computer. The printed report and diary events are reviewed by a cardiologist.
  • The information obtained from Holter monitoring helps your physician develop a treatment plan that is best for you.