What is an implantable Loop Recorder?
In patients who have very infrequent symptoms of palpitations or dizziness and fainting, where the standard electrocardiogram and Holter monitor has failed to yield the cause for the problem, the patient can then be fitted with a device called an implantable loop recorder.
How is it done?
This device is implanted beneath the skin on the anterior chest wall to the left of the breast bone. This location yields the best site to record the cardiac electrical activity. The loop recorder will continuously monitor the heart rhythm and automatically record any abnormal rhythms. The battery will generally last for 2 years and this will usually be ample time to capture an episode. The loop recorder is very useful at recording the mechanism of fainting episodes.
The device is simple to implant but will generally require admission to hospital. The device is implanted using local anaesthetic with light sedation. All necessary precautions are taken to prevent infection.
After the procedure
The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes and the patient is generally observed overnight and discharged home the following day. They are reviewed in the clinic at 3 monthly intervals or shortly after a clinical event, and the device is interrogated and the mechanism of the symptoms is determined. The major complication of having this device implanted is that it may become infected which could necessitate its explantation but other than this it is generally well tolerated.
If you have any further questions, please contact us at:
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside
North Medical Suites, Green Lifts Level 3,
627 Rode Road
Chermside Q 4032
(07) 3861 5522