What are the benefits of ILRs?
Because Implantable Loop Recorders capture an ECG during the actual fainting episode, they allow the Electrophysiologist to confirm or rule out abnormal heart rhythms more definitively than other tests. Because it can be worn continuously for over a year, there is an excellent chance that your symptoms will occur and therefore be recorded.
How do implantable loop monitors work?
Although Implantable loop recorders can record continuously for 14 months, your consultant or specialist only needs to see the recordings of the times when you experience your symptoms. You will need to activate a recording of the period before, during and after the symptoms started. To do this, you place a small hand-held activator over the Insertable Loop Recorder when you come round from your attack, and press the button. It is a good idea to show a family members and friends how to use the activator so they can operate it for you if needed. You will need to keep the activator with you at all times. Some implants are automated which means you will not require the remote control activator. Later a cardiac Electrophysiologist can retrieve the information (without removing the implant) and analyse the stored information and this may help him or her to diagnose the problem and decide on any treatment you may need. The device will then be removed and you will either start having treatment or be referred to other specialists.
What is an implantable loop recorder?
An Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR) is a heart rate and rhythm recording and playback device. It is used to monitor unexplained dizzy spells or blackouts (syncopies) and heart rhythm irregularities (arrhythmias) that are infrequent or short lived. Implantable Loop Recorders continuously monitor the rate and rhythm of your heart. The ECG is recorded during the actual fainting episode and can be played back later for detailed analysis. Implantable Loop Recorders can continuously record the heart”s rate and rhythm for up to 14 months. The implantable loop recorder measures about 6 cm x 2 cm and is about 0.8 cm thick. Putting the ILR in is a very simple and quick procedure. It is usually implemented just under the skin at the front left side of your chest. You will receive a local anaesthetic to the area before it is inserted.