Using this method, it is possible to get valuable information about the way the patient’s heart works, whether it skips or speeds up while he is engaged in normal daily activities.
If you or someone close to you is due to see a cardiologist soon for this reason, you will surely be interested in how to prepare for a Holter ECG.
We have gathered in one place all the important information about the holter, what it is, how to prepare and what to expect after wearing the holter.
What is an ECG of the heart?
ECG or electrocardiogram is a painless, safe and non-invasive diagnostic method in which the heart’s electrical signals are recorded on paper or viewed on a computer.
The ECG is usually done in the doctor’s office and the recording does not take long, so it is sometimes difficult to note deviations in the heart’s work, because it may happen that the problem is not active at that very moment.
What is a Holter ECG?
Holter is actually a device the size of a mobile phone, which is connected by wires to electrodes and its task is to record the electrical activity of the heart for a long period of time, from 24 hours to 72 depending on the need.
Holter ECG of the heart is a painless, safe, non-invasive diagnostic method, so patients should not be afraid if it is recommended to them.
The doctor will suggest this method to the patient if an ordinary ECG cannot detect irregularities in the heart’s work and a longer time of recording and monitoring the heart’s activity is required.
The most common candidates for a holter are patients who at certain times feel that their heart is working irregularly or have fainting spells or some other symptoms that raise the suspicion of the existence of a heart disease.
When does a doctor recommend a heart holter?
There are numerous reasons why your doctor may recommend this diagnostic method. Among the most common are:
- heart palpitations
- rapid pulse
- loss of consciousness
- loss of breath
- chest pain
All these symptoms actually belong to the symptoms of cardiovascular diseases and that is why it is very important for doctors to check the condition of the heart first.
Patients who have had a heart attack or have some kind of heart disease are also often recommended a holter so that the cardiologist can have insight into the condition of the heart and how it is responding to therapy.
Monitoring the effects of therapy in people with diagnosed arrhythmias also cannot be effective without a cardiac holter.
People with an implanted pacemaker will also be candidates for this method at certain time intervals, because it is necessary to check the operation and efficiency of the pacemaker.
How does a heart holter work?
A heart holter is a battery-operated device that consists of several parts. Electrodes are placed on the patient’s body and they are connected by wires to the device in which the data will be recorded.
The cardiologist will take many factors into account and make a final recommendation on how many days the patient should wear the holter. Most often, it is a period of 24 hours, but it can also be 48 or 72.
This method is important and valuable because it analyzes the mean heart rate, detects rhythm disturbances, analyzes ST segments and pauses in the heart rhythm.
Is wearing a holter risky?
Not! Wearing a holter is safe, it can’t hurt you, it just might bother you because you’re not used to doing your daily activities or sleeping with something taped to your chest.
It should not limit your activities because its purpose is to monitor your heart’s activity in your daily activities.
However, you should pay attention to the fact that you must not get it wet and it is preferable not to get close to metal detectors, magnets, microwave ovens, electric shavers, electric toothbrushes so that these devices do not interfere with its operation.
You should also keep your mobile phone away from the holter, at least 15 cm should be the distance.
How to prepare for Holter?
By reading the previous lines, you have already done a lot of preparation. You saw the advantages of this diagnostic method and learned that it is non-invasive, safe and painless!
This is very important in order to approach this method with ease.
Before the device is fitted, you should take a bath, as you will not be able to do so while you have the heart holter on your body. It’s not hard to take off, but you’ll hardly be able to put it back on properly after a shower.
A trained technician will place the Holter on you and remove the device when you return to the office after 24 hours or more, depending on the cardiologist’s instructions.
Men often need to shave parts so the electrodes can be attached to the body.
After the electrodes are placed, they are connected by wires to the device, which you can clip around your waist. Holter and electrodes will not even be noticed under clothes.
If necessary, the technician should explain to you all the doubts you have regarding the use of the device, because it is in everyone’s interest that the recording is successful.
During the wearing of the holter, it is necessary to keep an activity diary. You should write down what you did during which period, and you should especially write down and describe if you experience any discomfort. By comparing the diary and information from the holter, the cardiologist will get a broader picture of your condition.
It can happen that such a heart holter fails to record irregularities within the prescribed period, so sometimes patients are recommended a wireless holter that can be worn for even more days or weeks. The cardiologist will make a decision on this, and the Pulse Cardiology Center has cardiologists whose decisions you can trust.
What to expect after ECG Holter?
Once your Holter ECG is removed, your doctor analyzes the results and your activity log and makes a diagnosis or refers you for further tests.
Sometimes the data obtained in this way will be sufficient for diagnosis, so you will be recommended therapy and the frequency of cardiac controls.
You will receive all the necessary information so that you can improve your health and prevent the disease from worsening.
What are the advantages of ECG Holter monitor?
Heart Holter has several advantages over ECG. Of course, this does not mean that the EKG is not a valuable and accurate method, because it certainly is, but the EKG usually does not last long and is done in a state of rest, so that in some people it is simply not possible to observe irregularities in the work of the heart in such conditions.
Holter EKG records heart activity for a longer time and it does so while the person wearing it is doing daily activities (in motion, under load), but also when he is at rest, i.e. resting and sleeping. In this way, many more possibilities are covered for the occurrence of problems, the treatment of which should be concentrated later.
In addition, the doctor can come to a conclusion and what is the trigger for the appearance of the difficulty, which will also help in controlling the disease.
Where can I get this service?
At Pulse Cardiology Center, we provide all services in the field of cardiology, and Holter ECG is one of them.
Our medical technicians and cardiologists are here to help you so that the entire process of analyzing the electrical activity of your heart goes smoothly so that the results obtained are clear and accurate.
Everything related to heart health requires the best experts and the best equipment available. If you want the best and fastest service, call us and make an appointment.