A Holter monitor is a small, wearable, ambulatory electrocardiography device that keeps track of heart rhythms and records all heartbeats.
Holter monitoring is a planned Out-patient procedure.
You must plan to bathe before this appointment. Most monitors can't be removed and must be kept dry once monitoring begins.
There are no dietary or food restrictions before the procedure.
You must eat properly and come for the procedure. Make sure you are not on an empty stomach.
For men, excessive chest hair must be shaved off to make sure the electrodes stick properly.
Holter monitoring is usually recommended for a period of 24 to 48 hours. The procedure is painless and non-invasive.
You are settled comfortably in an area where your privacy is respected throughout the procedure.
You are then given a gown before the device attachment procedure.
Female patients are always managed by female technologists.
The technologist applies gel on the chest area where the electrodes need to be fixed.
He/she will then place electrodes that sense your heartbeat on your chest. These are kept in place with a plaster or an adhesive.
The technologist will then connect the electrodes to a recording device with several wires and will instruct you on how to properly wear the recording device so that it can record data transmitted from the electrodes. The recording device is about the size of an AA+ battery.
The additional gel is wiped off with cotton and tissue to avoid discomfort.
You can hide the electrodes and wires under your clothes. Once monitoring begins, you must not take the Holter monitor off — you must wear it at all times, even while you sleep.
While you wear a Holter monitor, you can carry out your usual daily activities. Your doctor will tell you how long you'll need to wear the monitor. It may vary from 24 to 48 hours.
The monitor may feel slightly uncomfortable and prickly where the plaster is applied.
Loose clothing and undergarments must be worn after the attachment procedure to avoid friction with the device.
Do not wet the Holter monitor.
No swimming or bathing for the entire time you are wearing the Holter monitor.
Avoid metal detectors, magnets, microwave ovens, PET scans and X-rays while wearing a Holter because these devices can interrupt the signal from the electrodes.
Keep cell phones at least 6 inches away from the monitor because these devices can interrupt the signal from the electrodes.
Once the monitoring period is over, you will have to come back to OPD, with a prior appointment, to have the electrodes removed. Post this, you may return the device to the technologist.
Reports will be issued after 3 hours of a detachment of the device at the reception.