You might have seen a number of heart monitors – if not in real life, then definitely in movies. A device with many wires connected to it and making a beeping sound does evoke a scary feeling, and makes for a great dramatic effect. But, not all heart monitoring devices are so ominous.
One of the most common heart rate monitoring technique is the ambulatory electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), which is a completely non-invasive procedure to measure heart rates. As we know, as long as the heart is beating in a particular rhythm, life goes on. This rhythm is required to maintain the correct flow of blood in the body supplying oxygen to all parts. Any deviation in the heart rhythm may be a cause of worry.
Although, ECG is a very effective technique to measure arrhythmia, there is still a chance that the deviation in rhythm does not occur during the ECG test. If your doctor detects any problem or you have any complaints, he or she may suggest you to go for a Holter monitor test.
So, what is a Holter Monitoring test? It is an extension of the ECG. In Holter Monitor Test, a Holter Monitor is a battery operated device that you need to wear for some fixed amount of time as advised by your doctor. The time for wearing a Holter monitoring system typically ranges from 24 to 48 hours.h
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As it is a non-invasive procedure, it is completely painless and risk free. Generally, the monitor will be placed by your doctor in their office. Since it is a battery operated device, you need to avoid its coming into contact with water. That’s why the doctor will ask you to take a bath prior to the procedure.
During the appointment, the doctor will place the electrodes of the Holter monitor to your body. It maybe required to shave off slightly, so that the electrodes can be properly fixed. After this, you will be shown how to care for the device and what to do if the electrodes come out. That’s all! You will be given a diary to record every activity and symptom for the duration of the Holter Monitor test. The monitor itself can be carried in a pocket or a strap pouch.
While it is so painless, that it doesn’t seem like a medical procedure at all; the readings and diary entries are extremely helpful for your doctor for effective diagnosis.