WHAT IS A LOOP RECORDER?
An implantable loop recorder is a type of heart-monitoring device that records your heart rhythm continuously for up to three years. It records the electrical signal of your heart and allows remote monitoring by way of a small device inserted just beneath the skin of the chest.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF LOOP RECORDER?
• Bleeding and bruising, mild pain at the insertion site, and infection. You may develop a scar at the insertion site.
TELL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF YOU:
• Are pregnant or think you may be pregnant. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.
• Are allergic to or sensitive to any medications, contrast, latex, tape, or anesthetic medicines (local or general).
• Are taking any medication that include prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements.
• Have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners, aspirin, or medications or supplements that affect blood clotting. These may have to be stopped prior to the procedure.
HOW DO I GET READY FOR A LOOP RECORDER PROCEDURE?
• There is no restriction for eating or drinking prior to procedure.
• If you are on a blood-thinning medication, you may be asked to stop prior to the procedure.
• You may drive yourself to your appointment, as Intravenous (IV) sedation is not used for this procedure. An oral medication can be given to calm nerves, if needed. In this case, a driver or arranged transportation will be needed.
WHAT HAPPENS PRIOR TO A LOOP RECORDER PROCEDURE?
Your physician will order an EKG, holter monitor, and/or tilt table test. Based on your symptoms and arrhythmias found, they will order a loop recorder to evaluate your heart rhythm for a longer time period. This information will be used to determine what course of action is needed to best treat your condition.
When you arrive to your appointment, someone will educate you on how the loop recorder works and how it communicates with your physician. You will read and sign your consent that gives your permission for the procedure. You will have the opportunity to ask your provider questions and have anything explained that you do not understand. A set of vital signs will be taken and recorded. You will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry that will be at the insertion site. You will be given a gown to wear. If you are feeling apprehensive, you will be offered a mild, oral sedative to relieve your nerves.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A LOOP RECORDER PROCEDURE?
The upper left portion of your chest will be prepared with a special soap. A sterile field will be applied and surround the insertion site. The skin will be injected with a numbing medicine. A small incision is made and the loop recorder is placed under the skin. The skin may be closed with a few stitches, tissue glue, and/or medical adhesive tape called Steri-strips. A bandage will be applied.
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