Loop Recorder

What is a Loop Recorder?

Loop Recorder, also known as an insertable cardiac (heart) monitor, is a small insertable device that continuously monitors your heart rhythms and records them automatically. Your doctor can use the information recorded by this heart monitor to determine if the cause of your symptoms may be related to an abnormal heart rhythm. Once your doctor has this information, your doctor can decide which treatment option is most effective for you.

How does it work?

Once the cardiac monitor is inserted into your upper chest area, it is programmed to continuously monitor your heart’s activity in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG). If you experience a symptom such as fainting or uncomfortable heart sensations, you or a family member should immediately place a hand-held activator over the cardiac monitor and press a button. This triggers the device to record the heart’s rhythms as you feel the symptoms. This may help your doctor to determine the cause of your heart-related symptoms.

What happens after the ECG is stored?

After you experience a symptom, whether you are able to tag the syptom with the hand-held activator or not, you should make an appointment with your doctor to read the saved recordings. If a heart rhythm-related cause is found, your doctor can then recommend therapy based on the exact cause of your symptoms. Your treatment may include medication, an implantable heart device, or another heart rhythm related treatment. If your doctor rules out your heart rhythm as a cause for your symptoms, your doctor can focus on other potential causes.

What are the benefits of a Loop Recorder?

Because the Loop Recorder is designed for long-term monitoring, it increases the chance of capturing your abnormal heart symptoms if they are unpredictable or if they occur infrequently. Other types of heart monitors are attached on the outside of the body for 2 to 60 days. Because the Loop Recorder is placed under the skin, you do not have to use sticky recording patches on your body or worry about connecting any wires. The Loop Recorder can be used up to 3 years.

What are the risks?

All surgical procedures carry some risk. Since the Loop Recorder is inserted just beneath the skin, there is a possible risk of infection, the device moving or coming through the skin, and / sensitivity to the Loop Recorder material. The risks of something serious happening are rare. Although many patients benefit from using the device, results may vary. Your doctor can help decide what is right for you.

What does the implant procedure involve?

The insertion is a simple procedure. The Loop Recorder is placed under the skin in the upper chest through a small incision, using local anaesthesia to numb the area.

Will I have to change my daily routine?

In general, people who get a Loop Recorder can perform almost all their normal activities. You can swim, bathe and exercise with the device without fear of damaging it. Your doctor may ask you to limit some of your activities because of your heart symptoms.

How long will I have the Loop Recorder for?

Your doctor will determine how long the Loop Recorder is used. After heart activity recordings are made, your doctor will determine if your symptoms are related to an abnormal heart rhythm. At that time, the device can be removed in a quick and simple procedure. Remember to talk to your your doctor if you have any other questions about whether a Loop Recorder is right for you.

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Providing invasive & non-invasive cardiovascular services to patients in Far North Queensland, PNG, and the Torres Strait Islands