Implantable Cardiac Monitor (Loop Recorder)
Your cardiologist may recommend surgically implanting a wireless cardiac monitor called a loop recorder, which continuously records your heart’s rhythm for up to three years. Smaller than the size of an AAA battery, this device is surgically inserted beneath the skin of the upper chest to record the heart’s electrical activity, much like an electrocardiogram, or EKG.
People who have had unexplained fainting spells or heart palpitations that can’t be detected by short term heart rhythm recording devices—such as Holter monitors—may be candidates for this device. Doctors may also recommend an implantable loop recorder for people with atrial fibrillation, which causes a rapid and irregular heartbeat. In addition, this device is used in people who have had a stroke for which a cause has not been determined.
Your doctor makes a small incision in the upper chest and inserts the device just under the skin. This is a brief, outpatient procedure done in our office, you can return to your usual activities the next day. Your doctor may limit your activity until the incision heals.
Cardiac loop recorders typically monitor the heart’s electrical activity for up to 36 months before replacement is required. The device is removed through the original incision site through a short surgery that is similar to the implantation procedure.