A medical team can use an electrocardiogram machine (ECG) to get a sample of the heart’s electrical activity in the office, but sometimes, a cardiologist needs to get a history of a patient’s heart rhythms. If an individual is showing signs of an irregular heartbeat, the physician may need more data, and one way to get that is with a Holter monitor.
Holter Monitor and Cables
Some people describe a Holter monitor as a mini ECG machine. It is a small box-like medical device. A patient wears one around their neck. The machine sits underneath your shirt. Another model clips to your waistband. Patient cables connect pads on the body to these portable machines, and the cords are hidden underneath your clothing also.
There are typically five patient cable leads, which means five electrodes are taped to your chest. A technician, nurse, or doctor can situate these on you, and if you have a hairy chest, they will need to shave the area where the pads will be attached.
This procedure should not interfere with your daily living activities, and you will not feel anything. The only side effect may be redness or a rash at the electrode sites. With some models, you will not be able to take a shower. You will need to wear it during the entire test. Do not remove it, or you may have to start all over again. Most people only need to use it for one or two days. If the doctor needs you to wear one for a more extended period, like a week, you may get a wireless model.