Detecting Abnormal Heart Rhythms

Many people feel intermittent heart palpitations often described as racing, pounding, skipping, jumping or feelings of very slow beats with pauses. These can be very bothersome and frightening.  It is important to find out the cause of these feelings so we can make you feel better and prevent serious problems.

There are many types of monitors available to check your heart rhythm.  We will choose the best one based on your symptoms.

Holter monitor

This monitor is worn for 24 hours and it allows us to see every heartbeat during that time.  It is very helpful to wear this monitor when you feel palpitations every day.

Event monitor

 There are several types of event monitors. These are worn when your palpitations do not happen every day. Event monitors can be worn for up to 30 days. They will automatically record abnormal heart rhythms. You will also be able to “press a button” when you feel symptoms so we can see what your rhythm is at that exact time.

 Insertable event monitor

This is a very tiny monitor that can be placed just under the skin of your chest. This is used when you have infrequent unexplained episodes of fainting or if you need prolonged heart monitoring.  It has a home unit to provide wireless remote monitoring over a secure internet connection. This monitor will work for approximately 3 years.

“Smart” devices

There are several good products commercially available that you can use on your own and then share the information with us. Smart phone applications and smart watches have many fitness tracking and health oriented capabilities. You can use these to monitor your heart rate or even record your heart rhythm when you have symptoms.  We can help you decide which ones are high quality and proven to work.

Remote Monitoring of Cardiac Devices

Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can send information to a monitor in your home. This information is sent to our office over a very secure network. This one-way communication allows our staff to check your heart rhythm and the function of your device between office visits. Remote device checks are programmed to occur on a regular basis depending on your needs. This check is equivalent to your in-person check in the office. In addition, the monitor can send us information if an alert condition exists such as a serious abnormal heart rhythm or a change in the functioning of your device.  

 Remote monitoring is very convenient and reduces the need for in-office visits. It has proven to provide early detection of abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Most importantly, it has been shown to save lives.