If you experience symptoms that seem out of the ordinary, your cardiologist will likely recommend an electrocardiogram (EKG), but this short test may not provide enough information for a full diagnosis. Sometimes we need to monitor your heart function over a longer period of time in order to assess your cardiovascular health.
One of the ways we can observe how your heart performs during a range of daily activities is to equip you with a portable monitor. Some monitoring devices are designed to gather data for just a few days, while others continue working for years.
Holter monitors, event monitors, and mobile cardiac telemetry units all use sensors attached to your skin to collect information that is then transferred to a recording device. While a Holter monitor is typically worn for 24 to 48 hours, mobile telemetry can be used for up to 30 days and is often recommended for patients with sporadic symptoms.
If you have symptoms that occur only occasionally, such as fainting spells, a better option is an implanted loop recorder. A loop recorder is a small device that is surgically inserted just under the skin of your chest, where it records your heart’s activity for up to three years, relaying the data wirelessly to your doctor. The implantation procedure is quick and safe, and once the loop recorder is in place, you won’t even notice it as you go about your day-to-day activities.
Any of these heart-monitoring devices will provide an enormous amount of data that can help us evaluate and treat your particular cardiovascular issues.