Ambulatory Monitor

Has anybody had to wear an Ambulatory Monitor? I have just received a letter from the Hospital advising me to attend a fitting on 2nd September. I completely understand the use of the monitor, but I don't understand why I have to wear it. I have been having regular AF episodes for the past 8 weeks and up until Wednesday they always came on a weekend. I spoke with the cardiologist about my episodes on Monday and he agreed the best way forward would be to refer me to an EP to discuss a possible ablation. I've been waiting for the referral letter to see an EP, but I get a letter from the hospital asking me to wear this device. Is it a case of they don't believe me? I am going to call the Cardiologists secretary today, as the trend of my AF episodes was bucked on Tuesday morning, as I awoke early with a flutter in my chest. I am still in AF, which is the longest I have had an episode since changing to Felacainide.

12 Replies

  • Sorry your problems are ongoing and hope you will have a good discussion with an EP.

    I think the purpose of the monitor is to see what odd little things are going on that you don't notice and to show up those that you do notice. I've also got a session coming up, generated by my post ablation EP appointment, though I don't have a date. Luckily it is only for 24 hours - much to my relief as I had a 7 day session last year which I did not enjoy because it was so dreadfully itchy and generally tedious. I don't want to have another similar week ever again, but I was euphoric for quite a long time when I got ride of the contraption. The redness from the stickers hung around for about 10 days. Some hospitals use monitors that sound more advanced. You do get to take it all off to shower - I was supplied with three lots of stickers. After all that, it revealed absolutely nothing but NSR, I gather, and a slow heart rate. I didn't ever get a full feedback.

    For my ablation they used paediatric ECG stickers as I mentioned that I'd had trouble with the itchiness and I may have some allergy.

  • I agree with Rellim- also would agree you should ring and get nmeds discussed as some don't suit everyone

  • I gave the my Cardiologist a call Rosy to inform him my recent episodes, but he's not in until Monday and being on quite a high dosage of Flecainide at the moment his office didn't want to change anything without speaking to him. My episodes have lasted from 6 - 40 hours previously, but this one has been ongoing for at least 54. I don't think the Flecainide is working and if I get my EP referral soon I would be happy to go back on Amiodarone until it came to ablation time. I had little to no side effects with Amiodarone before and it worked. Currently I cannot plan anything and my plans usually include some kind of physical activity, so it's getting me down a little at the moment.

  • Thanks for the in-depth description. I almost can't wait to wear one ;)

  • I think it's pretty standard to have this test as it's a sure fire way of understanding your bouts of AF as it clearly shows the absense of P waves which are a determining factor. AF can happen with you having no symptoms so it is invaluable for that I imagine.

    I guess it shows a lot more to the experienced and trained eye also.

    It is just one of the tools to help them narrow everything down to decide your way forward.

    I recently had a 24 hr Monitor. I also reacted to the pads, felt irritation straight away and they took them off and replaced with sensitive ones which made a huge difference.

    If they tinkle when put on tell them they do have sensitive ones as an option.

    I was told not to shower but probably because it was only a 24 hour one not 7 days.... Coz then I really would of been stinky

  • I had one on foe 24 hours,its a bit of a pain moving around and you cant use the shower,but i put mine in a plastic bag with just the three leads coming out,but the results are good,it is a record of evey beat of your heart for twenty four hours,i know peeps who have worn them for 7 days.good luck,the reason you cant shower is the box is not waterproof and water on the pads would stop the readings,i got a can of vernacare senset skin cleansing foam £3 from ebay including postage

  • I had to wear one for a month,and looks like I will be doing it again

  • Agree with most of the above. The trace that is made by the Holter monitor tells an experienced EP far more about what is going on in your heart than you can. Don't be put off by the adverse remarks as many of us have no problems at all. OK you might get a bit tangled up if you thrash about in your sleep but other than that I have done quite normal things whilst wearing one and never had a bad reaction. Had one for 14 days at the start of my AF journey in 2004.


  • Recently had a 72 hour monitor which I was able to take off for showering. No problems with the pads and forgot I was wearing it after a couple of hours. EP discovered that as well as A fib I also have atrial flutter so well worth going through the process. Enables the experts to assess your condition. On meds now until my ablation procedures next month. Good luck.

    Regards Pam

  • Thank you all for your responses. I thought maybe it was a delaying tactic, as they have ECG'S from just under two years showing when I was in AF. My thinking was I have AF, it isn't going to get any better, it certainly is getting worse, please give me an ablation. I now understand from your replies that this is a standard procedure. Thanks again.

  • I've had three now, one 24h and two 7 day ones, but none of them have shown anything. The only time they've seen AF on ECGs is when I'm taken in by ambulance during an episode (and there's no shortage of those by now). The pads do get a bit itchy and sore after a few days, but it's not that bad. The 24h one keeps you out of the shower, but they show you how to unclip the 7 day one.

  • i am the black belt level of holter monitors and can say no prob to wear one. I had bit of itchiness and had to use nail varnish remover to remove black sticky marks. But hey ho it showed lots on mine besides AF. As a diagnostic tool its very handy. Good luck

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