What is it?

An Implantable loop recorder (ILR) is a small, thin device inserted under the skin that monitors and records your heart’s electrical activity over a long period of time in order to identify an irregular heart rhythm. The ILR can determine whether your symptoms are related to a heart rhythm problem.

The procedure takes approximately 15-20 minutes

For any patient enquiries please speak to your cardiologist or contact Mildura Cardiology by phone (03) 5023 8111 or email [email protected] 

Procedure Information

What to bring

+ Any concession cards including Medicare and private heath fund cards.
+ All current medication in its original packaging.

* For all procedures requiring overnight stays, please ensure you bring with you night attire, including dressing gown, non-slip slippers and toiletries.

Pre-Procedure

+ Patients are required to fast for 4 hours prior to the procedure.

Procedure

+ ILR device is inserted beneath the skin in the upper chest area following local anaesthetic

+ The device has been positioned under the skin via a small incision

+ Patients may be given antibiotics to minimize infection.
* The wound should be kept clean and dry until fully healed, although it is safe to bathe and shower.

Public patients will undergo this procedure at the Mildura Base Hospital, while those patients with private health fund insurance will be accommodated at Mildura Health Private Hospital.

Post care

+ Post procedure a Cardiac Nurses will program the ILR to the required settings

+ Programming and data retrieval is done by radiofrequency. This procedure is painless.

+ The nurse will explain instructions on using your activator and provide you with an ID card to carry.

Discharge

Patients undergoing an implantable loop recoder procedure will be required to stay overnight with discharge being the following day.

* It is important to discuss with your Cardiologist instructions for dressing removal and wound care. Once the dressing(s) has been removed it will require little care. Keep clean and dry and avoid using powder. Check wound daily and report any possible signs of infection to your Cardiologist promptly.

+Your cardiologist will discuss a time for a follow up appointment (Usually within a week or two).

+ You will be discharged with the appropriate medications.

^ Please discuss any limitations or restrictions directly following your procedure and any medication changes with your Cardiologist.

fi If you have travelled from regional or remote centres, your Cardiologist may advise you to stay in Mildura for 2-3 days following your procedure.

Depending on your procedure, time and recovery you will be discharged the same day or early the next morning provided you’re accompanied by an consenting adult. Your cardiologist will arrange a follow up appointment prior to discharge.

For 24 hours following procedure, it is recommended you do not;

+ Drive a vehicle

+ Travel on public transport

+ Drink Alcohol

+ Sign important documents

+ Use heavy machinery

+ If you have a temperature please let the hospital/cardiologist know

+If you are unsure about your medication please contact your doctor

+ Whilst the site is healing, avoid wearing tight clothing that could rub and cause your discomfort over the site of the recording device

+ Let the hospital know immediately if your wound becomes red or swollen or starts to ooze

+ You can shower/bath as normal, but you must keep your wound dry. You will be advised if you need removal of sutures

+Always carry your ILR device details with you. Dentists, doctors, emergency personnel and some security personnel (e.g., at airports) will need to know that you have an ILR device

+ 3 month appointments for device interrogation will be arranged post discharge.

Risks

Although serious problems are rare, as with any medical procedure there are always some risks involved. Every effort is made to minimise your risk, though should complications arising from you procedure occur, emergency equipment is readily available.

The device casing is made out of titanium, is not magnetic and has no moving parts. However, you should avoid devices which generate a strong or electro-magnetic interference (EMI). This could cause the device to malfunction and fill the memory with interference. This means that you may have to have your device reviewed after an MRI.

Exact risks vary from patient to patient, however, some symptoms that may occur include;

Haematoma (Bruising and swelling)

It is usual for most patients to have bruising and tenderness at and around the catheters insertion point for a few days following procedure.

Infection

Infection is rare, however if infection does occur it is usually contained to the area of skin overlying the catheter insertion point. Any infection will be treated with the appropriate antibiotic.

Allergic reaction to dye

A dye, or ‘Contrast’ is used to enable the coronary arteries to be seen using x-ray. Minor reactions can result in hives and rare occasions where a dramatic fall in blood pressure is evident, shock. Risk to patients with no previous reaction to contrast dyes extremely low. Inform your Cardiologist if you have had any previous reaction to contrast mediums.

Acute Closure or rupture of coronary artery

In rare cases, coronary angioplasty can cause the artery to become completely blocked or rupture. In this situation an emergency coronary artery bypass operation would be performed.

Heart Attack

In extreme cases, patients may endure cardiac arrest during this procedure. Rest assured your Cardiologist is well prepared to deal with this situation.