Holter ECG monitoring 24h, 72h and 7 days
A holter is a small device that monitors your heart rhythm. The cardiologist may require you to wear a holter for 24 hours, 72 hours and up to 7 days as needed. During this time, the device records all your heartbeats.
A Holter test is usually performed after a basic examination to check your heart rhythm, especially if an ECG (electrocardiogram) does not give your doctor enough information about your heart condition.
The cardiologist uses the information recorded on the Holter monitor to determine if you have a heart rhythm problem. If standard holter monitoring does not detect an irregular heartbeat, your doctor may suggest a wireless Holter monitor that can record longer.
Why holter ECG monitoring is used
A cardiologist may also require a Holter ECG monitor if you have a condition that increases the risk of an abnormal heart rhythm.
If you have signs or symptoms of heart problems, such as irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or unexplained fainting, your doctor may require a test called an electrocardiogram. Electrocardiogram – An ECG is a short, non-invasive test that uses electrodes glued to your chest to check your heart rhythm.
However, sometimes the electrocardiogram does not detect irregularities in the heart rhythm, because you are connected to the device only for a short time. If signs and symptoms suggest that an occasional irregular heart rhythm may be causing a disease or condition, your doctor may recommend that you wear a holter monitor.
During this time, the holter monitor may be able to detect abnormalities in your heart rhythm that the electrocardiogram could not detect.
A cardiologist may also require a holter ECG monitor if you have a condition that increases the risk of an abnormal heart rhythm.
Risks of wearing a holter
Wearing a holter is not associated with significant risks other than possible discomfort or skin irritation where electrodes are placed.
However, the holter monitor must not get wet as it will be damaged. Swimming and bathing are not allowed all the time while wearing your holter monitor. However, if you have a wireless holter monitor, your doctor will show you how to turn off and reconnect the sensors and monitor so you can take a shower or bath.
Other electrical devices do not usually affect the holter. You should avoid metal detectors, magnets, microwave ovens, electric razors and electronic toothbrushes while wearing a holter as these devices can interrupt the signal from the electrodes to the holter monitor. Also, for the same reason, keep mobile phones and portable music players at least 15 cm away from the holter device.
Preparing for a Holter monitor
If your doctor recommends a holter, the device will be installed at the scheduled time. Unless your cardiologist tells you otherwise, plan to take a bath before this examination. You cannot install most holter monitors yourself. The technician will place electrodes that record your heartbeat on your chest. In men, it may be necessary to shave a small amount of hair to ensure that the electrodes stick together.
The technician will then connect the electrode to a recording device with several wires and instruct you on how to properly carry the device, for the smooth recording of data transmitted from the electrodes. The recording device is approximately the size of a mobile phone.
You will be required to keep a diary of all activities you do while wearing a holter monitor. It is especially important to note in the diary any symptoms of palpitations, skipped heartbeat, difficulty breathing, chest pain or fainting. Once you have installed the monitor and received instructions on how to wear it, you can leave the doctor office and continue with the usual activities.
What can you expect
During the Holter wearing procedure
Holter surveillance is painless and non-invasive. You can hide the electrodes and wires under your clothes, and you can wear the recording device on your belt or attached to a belt. When surveillance begins, do not remove the holter monitor – you must wear it constantly, even while you sleep.
While wearing a holter monitor, you can perform your usual daily activities. Your doctor will tell you how long you should wear the holter. This period can vary from 24 to 72 hours or even a few days, depending on the condition your doctor suspects you have or how often you have symptoms of a heart problem. The wireless holter monitor can work for weeks.
After the holter removal procedure
When the monitoring period is over, you will return the device to the doctor office, along with the diary you kept while wearing the holter monitor. The doctor will compare the recorded data and the activities and symptoms you have written down.
Holter monitoring results
After the cardiologist looks at the results of the holter and what you have written in your activity diary, he will talk to you about the results. Information from a holter monitor may reveal the condition of your heart or you may need more tests to determine what is causing your symptoms.
In some cases, a cardiologist may not be able to diagnose your condition based on the results of a holter test, especially if you did not have any irregular heart rhythm while wearing the monitor.
Then your doctor may recommend a wireless holter monitor or event recorder, which can be worn longer than a standard holter monitor. Event recorders (portable ECGs) are similar to holter monitors and usually require you to press a button when you feel symptoms. There are several different types of event recorders.
Price – Holter ECG monitoring
Price for the 24h ECG Holter monitoring is 8.000 dinars.