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Questions and Answers – Getting an Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Fainting (Unexplained)

What does the implant of an insertable cardiac monitor involve?

Inserting an insertable cardiac monitor typically involves a simple procedure. Smaller than a key, the cardiac monitor is inserted just beneath the skin of the chest. During the brief procedure, local anesthesia is used to numb the area, a small incision is made, and the monitor is inserted. You will be awake and able to communicate with the nurse or doctor.

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What is the recovery like after an insertable cardiac monitor insertion?

At first there may be some minor discomfort near the incision site. Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions about at-home care following your implant. These may include advice about lifting, checking the incision site, and activity levels.

In general, people who get an insertable cardiac monitor can perform almost all their normal activities. Your doctor may ask you to limit some of your activities because of your unexplained fainting or until your incision heals.

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What are the advantages of getting an insertable cardiac monitor over another heart monitoring device?

While some causes of unexplained fainting are harmless, others may be serious. Heart-related causes, including abnormal heart rhythms, are among the most serious causes of fainting. By looking at your heart rhythms before, during, and after a fainting spell, your doctor can identify whether the cause of your unexplained fainting is heart-related.

Other types of heart monitors are attached on the outside of your body for 2 to 60 days. The insertable cardiac monitor is designed for long-term use. Because the cardiac monitor is placed under the skin, you do not have to use sticky recording pads on your body or worry about connecting any wires. It can be used for up to 3 years, so it increases the chance of capturing your heart signal during infrequent fainting spells.

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Will my insertable cardiac monitor set off the airport screening device?

It is unlikely that airport screening devices will interfere with your insertable cardiac monitor. However, they may detect the metal components and set off the alarm. It may be necessary to present your device identification card to obtain clearance. You may wish to be hand-searched instead of going through the security archways.

Learn More: Living With an Insertable Cardiac Monitor

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What are the risks?

All surgical procedures carry some risk. Because the cardiac monitor is implanted just beneath the skin, there is a slight risk of infection, and/or sensitivity to the cardiac monitor material.

The risks of something serious happening are rare. Remember to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have or anything you don’t fully understand. Although many patients benefit from the use of this product, results may vary. Your doctor can help you decide if it’s right for you.

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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.