What are Loop Recorders?
A Loop recorder is an implantable recording device placed in the body on your chest wall, overlying the heart, underneath the chest skin. It is used for several reasons; the most common ones include looking for causes such as:
- Very fast or slow heartbeats
- Hidden rhythms can cause strokes.
The device works as an electrocardiogram (ECG), continuously records information about your heart’s electrical activity. The implantable loop recorder has automatic triggers to store recordings for up to 3 years. For instance, If you fainted due to an arrhythmia, the machine records this information before, during, and after the fainting. Then your doctor can look at the recordings to figure out the cause and the best treatment for your condition.
Why are Loop Recorders perform?
You will need a loop recorder if you have experienced:
- Fainting episodes or palpitations
- If other tests have not yet given the doctor good results.
- Certain kinds of fainting significantly increase your chance of sudden death.
Look for very fast or slow heartbeats.
- If you are an older adult with unexplained falls.
Generally, loop recorder implantation is often helpful if other tests have not found the cause. This condition mostly happens in the elderly. Sometimes is used in people believed to have epilepsy who have not responded to medicine.
What are the risks of loop recorder implantation?
Risks will depend on your age, and other medical conditions, and factors. Some problems may happen, including:
- Bleeding or bruising
- Infection (might require device removal)
- Damage to your heart or blood vessels
- Mild pain at the implantation site
How do I prepare for a loop recorder implantation?
- Avoid eating or drinking anything before midnight before your procedure.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions about what medicines to take before the procedure.
- Do not stop taking any medication unless your provider tells you to do so.
- Your doctor may require other tests before the procedure.
What happens during a loop recorder implantation?
- You may be given medicine to help you relax.
- A local anesthetic will be put on your skin.
- Your doctor will make a small incision in your skin in the left upper chest place the loop recorder in it.
- Your incision will be closed with sutures. A bandage will be put on the area.
What happens after a loop recorder implantation?
- You will be able to go home the day of the procedure.
- You can ask for pain medicine as needed
- You may need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
- You can return to your normal activities after the procedure.
- Report to your doctor if you have any bleeding or swelling at the insertion site.
- Report to your doctor if another healthcare provider wants you to get an MRI test.
You may keep your loop recorder for up to 2 or 3 years. Once it is no longer need it, you will need to have it removed in a similar procedure.