Your doctor has just mentioned using a Holter monitor and you're probably wondering what it is and what it does. Your cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC at West Monroe, and Winnsboro, LA, will tell you everything you need to know about a Holter monitor.
A Holter monitor is a portable medical device that your doctor uses to measure your heart's electrical activity.
Essentially, a Holter monitor is an ECG that can fit into your pocket. It consists of leads and wires which your doctor connects to your body during the duration of its operation.
Why Your Doctor Might Request Holter Monitoring
A Holter monitor measures the electrical activity driving your heart's function.
If you're experiencing specific symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, and tiredness that make your cardiologist suspect abnormal electrical activity, they might put you on 24-hour Holter monitoring.
Other reasons why you might need a Holter monitor include:
- Evaluating the function of your pacemaker
- Assessing the effectiveness of your heart medication
- Assessing chest pain
- Evaluating your risk of future heart conditions
- Identifying heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat
Holter Monitoring Procedure
Before coming in to get your Holter monitor, you should shower but don't put on lotion. You won't shower again till your doctor takes it off. You should avoid activities that can get your monitor wet while it's on.
You'll also need to stay away from metal detectors and X-rays.
During your appointment, your cardiologist will place the leads of your Holter monitor on your chest and secure it in place with extra tape. The monitor stays in a pouch close to your chest.
From your doctor's office, you can proceed to perform your normal daily routine. Take note to document your activity on a notepad.
Noting significant events during the day such as chest pain and physical activity can help your doctor correlate your heart's electrical activity to your symptoms.
Your doctor, Dr. Gonzalez, will study and interpret the readings on your Holter monitor at the end of your session which could be 24-48 hours. This information will guide your treatment.
If you've got more questions about Holter monitors in West Monroe and Winnsboro, LA, you should contact your cardiologist, Dr. Gonzalez, at Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center, APMC. Call (318) 338-3540 to schedule your appointment today.