While your primary doctor may order a Holter Monitor test, it will most likely be ordered by a cardiologist. If your cardiologist has ordered this diagnostic test, you may have questions as to why, especially if you’ve already had an ECG or EKG done in the office. Why is a Holter Monitor necessary? What is it? And, most importantly, what information will it give your doctor?
What is a Holter Monitor?
A Holter Monitor uses electrodes just like those used with an EKG or ECG done in the office. The Holter Monitor electrodes are connected to a portable box that records the electrical activity of your heart. This is different from the large machine that was used for your in-office test. The small portable box along with connected electrodes are meant to be worn for between 24 and 48 hours, although your cardiologist may order a longer test.
What are the Benefits of Wearing a Holter Monitor?
The biggest reason why a Holter Monitor is used to diagnose heart problems is because it shows a much larger sample of your heart’s activity. While an in-office ECG or EKG shows your heart’s electrical activity for just a brief moment, a Holter Monitor can show your doctor if there are intermittent issues. It also has the benefit of revealing problems that may not be evident while you are at rest in a doctor’s office. These problems may occur during normal, everyday activity, and the Holter Monitor can show this bigger picture.
What Can it Tell Your Doctor?
By analyzing the results from a Holter Monitor, your doctor can diagnose several problems. A low, high, or even irregular heartbeat is easily seen. If you aren’t on heart meds, but you need to be, the doctor can see what you need when creating a treatment plan. If you are already on heart medications, the Holter Monitor test can tell a doctor just how well they are working. It works similarly with those who have a pacemaker and the effectiveness needs to be researched.
If your doctor has ordered a Holter Monitor test to detect problems or to ensure your treatment plan is on track, the Family Diagnostic Clinic can help you. Stop by or call to let us know and we can schedule your test. With so much riding on the vital diagnostic tool, you don’t want to wait, and we don’t want you to wait either.