How To Prepare continued...
If your doctor asks you to keep a symptom and activity diary, be sure that you keep track of these things closely. In this diary, you will record activities and symptoms and the times they occurred. You need to carefully keep this record for your test to be accurate and useful.
If you are getting a monitor put under your skin, you will get instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.
Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the need
for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will
mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
Continuous recorders are the most common type of monitor used for this test. This type includes the Holter monitor .
A continuous recorder gives a 24- to 72-hour record of the electrical signals
from your heart. A standard EKG monitors only 40 to 50 heartbeats during the
brief time you are attached to the machine. A continuous recorder monitors
about 100,000 heartbeats in 24 hours. It is likely to find any heart problems
that happen with activity.
For this test, you wear a lightweight, battery-operated tape
recorder (monitor). It attaches to a strap that goes over your shoulder or around your waist. The
recorder is connected by wires to small pads or patches (electrodes) taped to your
chest. These detect the electrical signals from your heart. The recorder has a clock on it. This is so you can note what time it is when you have any
The recorder and electrodes will be put on in a doctor's office or hospital room.
- Several areas on your chest may be shaved and
cleaned. Then a small amount of paste or gel will be put on
- The electrode pads will then be attached to the skin
of your chest. Thin wires will connect the electrodes to the monitor.
- You may be hooked up briefly to a standard EKG machine. This is done to check
that the electrodes are working as they should.
What you do during the test