Implantable Loop Recorder
An implantable loop recorder is an excellent diagnostic tool for patients with paroxysmal or occasional arrhythmias, including Afib. Occasional arrhythmias may not show up on traditional EKGs (which typically last for about five minutes and only show a single point in time), and often require longer-term monitoring. Arrhythmias, in particular, may only happen once in a very long while. Further, patients may suffer from syncope, or unexplained fainting, and traditional diagnostic devices such as the EKG, or even Holter monitors, may not capture these events due to their limited length of use.
As such, the implantable loop recorder is a longer-term solution to understanding the type of arrhythmia and creating an appropriate treatment plan .
As the name suggests, the implantable loop recorder is placed under the skin of the chest and is a semi-permanent fixture for as long as the diagnostic process takes, which can be up to three years. The recorder catalogs the heart rhythm for a specified period of time but has a loop feature that overwrites old data to allow it to collect data for longer periods of time. Periodically, the patient will use a specialized transmitter to send data back to our office so it can be analyzed for irregularities.
Eventually, when the loop recorder has served its purpose, it can be switched off and left in the body or can be removed. Implantation of a loop recorder is rapid and performed under local anesthetic. Contact our office to learn more about the loop recorder and whether it is appropriate for your particular situation.