Heart Rhythm Monitoring

Often, the best way for us to understand arrhythmias is through careful monitoring, for days and sometimes even months or years. Monitors that track abnormal heart rhythms give us a wealth of data. The detailed information helps us thoroughly analyze arrhythmias and determine proper treatment.

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Why do I need heart rhythm monitoring?

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) performed in our office gives us a short snapshot of your heart’s rhythm. It measures electrical activity for only a few minutes.

Often, though, arrhythmias don’t show up on these tests because we need a longer look at your heart’s rhythm. Heart rhythm monitoring provides the extended tool we need for this task.

Types of heart rhythm monitoring

We use three main types of heart rhythm monitoring. We have options that record your rhythm for a day or two or up to several years.

Holter monitor

A portable Holter monitor records your heart’s electrical activity for 24 to 48 hours. The small device is painless.

How it works:

  • The Holter monitor connects to tiny electrodes stuck to the skin on your chest.
  • The device continuously monitors your heart rhythm while you go about your daily activities, except during baths or showers.
  • We may ask you to keep a diary describing how you feel.
  • Your doctor can compare your diary with data from the Holter monitor.

Event recorder

A portable cardiac event recorder, or event monitor, records your heart’s rhythm for up to one month. This painless device allows us to compare your symptoms with a read-out of your heart’s electrical activity.

Some event recorders connect to sticky patches (electrodes) on your chest. Others attach to your wrist. You activate the event recorder when you have symptoms such as palpitations or dizziness.

The event recorder automatically sends data to our office. You do not need to do anything. We use this information to see how your heart’s rhythm behaves when you experience symptoms.

Implantable loop recorder

Loop recorders continuously monitor your heart’s rhythm for up to three years. These small devices are very useful for people whose symptoms don’t happen very often.

You might need a loop recorder if other tests haven’t shown a reason for your symptoms or a cause of the arrhythmia. We may also recommend a loop recorder if you have unexplained fainting or heart palpitations.

We implant the loop recorder under the skin of your chest during a minor procedure. The device records your heart’s rhythm and transmits the data to us. Once we have enough information, we remove the loop recorder during another quick procedure.

Take the next step.

Request an appointment with an electrophysiologist.

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