An implantable loop recorder (ILR) is a small implantable, easily removable, medical device, placed under the skin in your chest that is used to monitor for abnormal heart rhythms.
Many individuals can undergo external heart monitoring (devices and/or stickers worn underneath clothing and attached to the chest wall) to detect abnormal heart rhythms. However, certain individuals with very infrequent and severe spells consistent with heart rhythm abnormalities, may benefit from temporary placement of an implantable loop recorder to assist in diagnosing the problem. Ask your physician if you think that you may be a candidate for an ILR device.
Understanding the Implantable Loop Recorder Procedure
Following patient sedation and local anesthetic, a small incision (less than 2 inches) is made in the chest wall adjacent to the sternum. The implantable loop recorder is then slid underneath the skin surface and secured into place. The skin surface is appropriately closed with medical glue or sutures. The device can subsequently be removed at any time once the appropriate information necessary to diagnose the heart rhythm abnormality has been obtained.
Following implantation, the loop recorder is closely monitored on follow-up visits. Information obtained from the device is able to be downloaded/retrieved by your physician and is used to assist in diagnosing your medical condition.