Some episodes of dizziness, light-headedness and/or syncope can be associated with simple life changes, however they can sometimes also be life-threatening. With the help of an implantable loop recorder, doctors can determine the abnormal heart rhythm that is responsible for these symptoms.
An implantable loop recorder (ILR) is a small, USB-sized electrical device that can be implanted with a simple surgery under the patient’s skin. Its purpose is to detect a heart rhythm disorder automatically or at the patient’s request using a special activator when symptoms occur. ILR battery life is approximately 18-24 months.
Fainting (also known as syncope) is a sudden loss of consciousness. It occurs after a sudden drop in blood pressure and due to a reduced oxygen supply to the brain.
The ILR is implanted with a minor surgery by making a small incision (1-2 cm) on chest area which is under local anaesthesia. The device is placed under the skin and the wound is closed with one small suture.
After ILR implantation, patients have almost no restrictions while performing normal daily activities. Patients can normally work, take a bath, swim without the risk of damaging the device. Magnets which are used in everyday environment cannot harm the device; however, strong electromagnetic fields (substations, welding machines, magnetic resonance) must be avoided.
In case symptoms occur (sensation of irregular or accelerated heart beats, fainting, etc.), the patient should contact his/her doctor in order to check the IRL’s recordings. IRL, same as a pacemaker, is based on wireless technology and it is not necessary to open the wound in order to check-up the device. When a patient experiences a problem, he or she can also activate the recording using a special activator (similar to a remote control).