What should you expect?
All monitors record the heart’s electrical activity. So, it’s important to maintain a clear signal between the sensors (electrodes) and the recording device. In most cases, the sensors are attached to your chest with sticky patches. Wires connect the sensors to the monitor. You usually can clip the monitor to your belt or carry it in your pocket. (Postevent and implantable loop recorders don’t have chest sensors.)
A good stick between the patches and your skin helps provide a clear signal. Poor contact leads to a poor recording, which is hard for your doctor to read. Oil, too much sweat, and hair can keep the patches from sticking to your skin. You may need to shave the area where your doctor will attach each patch. You will need to clean the area with a special prep pad that your doctor provides.
You may need to use a small amount of special paste or gel to make the patches stick to your skin better. Some patches come with paste or gel on them.
Too much movement can pull the patches away from the skin or create “noise” on the rhythm strip. A rhythm strip is a graph showing the pattern of the heartbeat. Noise looks like a lot of jagged lines and makes it hard for the doctor to see the real rhythm of the heart.
When you have a symptom, stop what you’re doing. This way you can be sure that the recording shows the heart’s activity rather than your movement.
Your doctor will tell you whether you need to adjust your activity level during the testing period. If you exercise, choose a cool location to avoid sweating too much. This will help the patches stay sticky.