Frequently Asked Questions – Insertable Cardiac Monitors

What is an insertable cardiac monitor?

An insertable cardiac monitor is a small implantable device that continuously monitors heart rhythms and records them automatically or by using a hand-held patient activator. The device is implanted just beneath the skin in the upper chest area, during a simple procedure.

How does an insertable cardiac monitor work?

Once the cardiac monitor is implanted in your upper chest area, it is programmed to continuously monitor your heart’s activity. When a fainting spell occurs, you or your family member should immediately place a small hand-held activator over the cardiac monitor and press a button.

This triggers the device to record the heart’s rhythms before, during, and after the unexplained fainting spell. If your fainting spell is heart-related, your doctor may recommend treatment based on the exact cause.

If I get an insertable cardiac monitor, will I have to change my daily routine?

In general, people who get an insertable cardiac monitor can perform almost all their normal activities. You can swim, bathe, and exercise with your cardiac monitor without fear of harming it. Your doctor may ask you to limit some of your activities because of your unexplained fainting or until your incision heals.

How long will I have an insertable cardiac monitor?

Your doctor will determine how long the cardiac monitor is used. Typically after one or more heart activity recordings are made, your doctor will determine if your symptoms are related to an abnormal heart rhythm. At that time, the insertable cardiac monitor can be removed.

Remember to talk with your doctor if you have any other questions about whether an insertable cardiac monitor is right for you.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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