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NEED INFORMATION! Implantable Loop Recorder
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NEED INFORMATION! Implantable Loop Recorder

Has anyone had one of these implanted before?? My cardiologist discussed putting one in. I am personally all for it if it can potentially help figure out what is going on. It has been a long, very frustrating road. He seemed a bit reluctant because of scarring. At this point, I dont even care if it will help with a diagnosis. Can anyone offer me information on the scarring and what to expect from the procedure itself when it is inserted? Do they just use local? Does it hurt? Is it like a surgery? Please...any information will help. Thanks!
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995271_tn?1408549100
I had one offered to me, decided against it.  Whatever rhythm issues I've had, I could catch them on an event monitor within 14-30 days.  If the event occurs less frequent than that, I wouldn't be concerned enough to have a device surgically implanted.  Honestly I don't get the rationale, but it may fit some needs if the event is that troubling and that elusive.
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Avatar_f_tn
there are a number of reasons that traditional techniques for diagnosing arrhythmias are not an option for me. the palpitations happen very often and are very much affecting my life so i am really ready to do anything if it can help me get back on track. i am just interested in hearing some stories from others who have had it done. PLEASE!
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a reveal loop recorder implanted in September a month after an EP study that failed to reproduce my arrythmeia for long enough to map it.  About two weeks after the EP study I went to the Cardio for follow up and he and my EP came in to talk to me about long term monitoring.  From the options that were available, I agreed that the implant was the best for my diagnosis and treatment.  The implant took about 1.5 hours total in the EP lab at the hospital.  It is a surgical procedure, but not as bad as some could be.  I had mine implanted in/under my left breast as I requested my EP to hide it.  The procedure is much easier than the EP study.  They give you IV antibiotics before, during and after and kept me for about 5 hours afterwards for observation.  I had a pain killer perscription that we got filled on the way home, by the next morning I called in for something stronger.  I only took pain meds for about 4.5 days, and mostly because I have a large chest and my breast put pressure on the implant and pushed it into nerves.  It is uncomfortable, and took about 6 weeks to heal.  It's only been within the past week or two that I don't puke if I accidentally touch it, but that's just me. Now, I don't feel it really at all on a daily basis and it's pretty much forgotten.  Positive: get to go through the short medical line at the airport.
Seriously though, I had pretty much forgotten about it after 2 months.  You are given an activator for when you actively experience symptoms. This records 6 minutes around the time that you activate it, you hold it over your implant and push a button until it beeps and the light turns green.  On mine, you can record 3 of these "long" recordings before it's full, and it automatically records up to 27 shorter readings.  It's called a loop recorder because it only keeps the 27 most recent recordings before looping and recording over them, or if you press the long record button a fourth time it records over the first reading.  For a while I was almost parinoid about having the activator with me at all times...so of course I never needed it. Once I had calmed down from having the implant I just left the activator in my purse.  One night, I was just sitting on my bed doing a little work on my computer and felt like I had just been hit by a bus and knocked out.  When I realized what had happened I went and got the activator and used it. It was pretty simple.  The next day I called the cardio office to get it read and got an appointment in a couple of hours.  I went in and they downloaded the info.  The device tech reviewed the info and then went and got my EP out of lunch.  He came in and reviewed the print outs and showed me what happened.  We decided to go forward with another EP study and ablation based on the information.  If I had not had the implant, this episode would not have been recorded and I would not have had the ablation when I did.  If that had been the case, I would not have been on the table when I naturally went into unprovoked sustained ventricular tachycardia (the one that kills you) with a heart rate of over 350. VT had never come up on any of the short term monitors. It was the same arythmeia that caused all of my major symptoms (fainting, shortness of breath) I instantly felt just like I did when I was having issues prior to all the testing.  It took quite a while for them to stop it and then ablate the area, it was not an area that they were even planning on looking at during the EP study.  As for the implant, I still have it, and will probably keep it in for at least another year, maybe a little longer, just to be on the safe side.  I am comforted that it is continually recording information and if I have any symptoms they will be recorded and I don't have to start all over with short term monitors and tests.  The implant was probably the easiest thing that I've gone through related to my heart, and I would do it again. My EP is excellent and always seems to have my back.  When I went to the hospital for the surgery, everyone kept telling me where it was going to be and saying it was going in under my clavicle. I kept saying, "no" because I had discussed it with my EP. He came and saw me in pre-op just to answer any last minute questions and the first thing he said was "we're going to hide it under your breast and the scar is going to be about 4 mm"...I didn't even have to ask.  He is excellent.  I had a GP look at the incision a few weeks later before I left the country for a trip and she said that if she ever needed anything like that done she was going to him because that was the best incision repair that she'd ever seen.  I have good follow up with my EP and I can call and ask questions whenever.  Also, after the first reading, I was sent a portable home reader device, so if I record any symptoms I can call them in over the phone if I cannot get to the device clinic.  I am very thankful that this option was given to me and that I was brave enough to accept it.
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329165_tn?1385201516
Hi there,

I had a cardiac loop implant (Medtronic Reveal) while they had me open for heart-surgery (Nov 2009) and I regret every day having the implant.  It is 4 months later and it still hurts when I change gear, I can not sleep on my tummy and if someone gives me a hug (presses against my chest) then it hurts my sternum.

I am skinny and even though the device is implanted under my breast tissue, I can still feel it and if I am lying on my back, I can actually move it around!!!

What type of arrthythmia do you have?  I had episodes of syncope and unexplained palpitations (I am almost 2 years post-op after having my mitralvale repaired).  I am at the point that I just want the thing out!  I am not going to wait 3 years, not even another 3 months.  I have not had a syncope episode in the past year and that is enough proof to me that it was just a single incident.

The only time that I would recommend the "reveal" implant to anyone is if your symptoms is bad and if you had countless 24hr Holters done and no success.
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Avatar_f_tn
Even though mine is in my breast you can still feel it, it's actually visable a little if you look under my breast. It probably moves a bit, but it freaks me out so I don't touch it.  (I'm definately not skinny and have double D's) It is uncomfortable to sleep on it, but I kind of got over that after a few months, sometimes I 'forget' and am reminded quite rudely in my sleep, and I "side hug" so that no one is pressing on that side of my chest.  I just found ways of compensating, not that it was easy or anything, but after about 4 months I just kind of decided to figure out how to live with it.  (Like I went for a massage and used a towel to reduce pressure on my chest)  I don't think mine will be in for a full 3 years either (tomorrow would be a good day to get it out), but it will be in to at least make it a year without passing out or other major symptoms.  I personally never had a 24 hour holter, and with my symptoms they would be a crap shoot unless I could take it home with me and only put it on when I started to have them.  I had an event monitor that did capture arrythmeia prior to my first EP study.
I do think that it is a big decision to get a loop recorder implanted.  I don't think that any Dr. or pamphlet/paper can tell you how it's going to feel. I can tell you that I offered my EP a ruler afterwards b/c my incision/scar is definately longer than what I had been told, and I was instantly grateful that I had it hidden as it's much easier to deal with.  I personally have not been able to wear a regular bra since the implant.  I have to wear a strapless bra otherwise the bottom band puts pressure on the implant and presses it into nerves and it is painful. Turns out I actually like the strapless bra, so that's at least a positive.
All in all I don't think that they are offered or implanted for non serious or potentially serious reasons, and even though my last surgery (that was initiated by the recordings from this little beauty) sucked more than I care to ever remember I am grateful that I have the implant, even though I hate it a lot of the time.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't say how useful this is, having had a loop recorder fitted about four weeks ago, to determine why i'm having drop attacks. It still hurts because,like yourself, it presses on nerves, and most of my bras are out, other than a soft front fastening one. The scab has yet to go (sorry folks) and I had no idea the implant would feel quite so obvious. I'm a bit concerned because now there's a rash of spots directly over it, in line with the implant, but I'm still in the period when you're supposed to just dab it , when cleaning (took a shower and kept it dry) , and not use any ointments. Feel a bit off colour but no temperature , although glands in neck are slightly up, indicating a possible infection.  I had to ask to get put on antibiotics after leaving british hospital, infection developed about a day later and quite nasty. but more benefits than disadantages , I think, and if it helps ID why I'm keeling over , a potential lifesaver. meantime, thank you so much, both of you, for all the guidance above. it really helps! x
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read your comments and I an having the same problems with the loop. i have had mine for 5 weeks and I am sooo ready for it to come out. Very painful if I do anything especially turning over in the bed at night. If I do it takes hours to stop hurting. The dr is telling me it doesnt move and its because I am a small person. Not sure how much longer I can take it...I just wanted to know if anyone else was having the same problem. Hope you are doing better by now..
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Avatar_f_tn
I just read your comments and I an having the same problems with the loop. i have had mine for 5 weeks and I am sooo ready for it to come out. Very painful if I do anything especially turning over in the bed at night. If I do it takes hours to stop hurting. The dr is telling me it doesnt move and its because I am a small person. Not sure how much longer I can take it...I just wanted to know if anyone else was having the same problem. Hope you are doing better by now..
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Avatar_f_tn
I had one 5 weeks ago and its KILLING me especially at night when i turn over....I am so ready for it to come out...not sure if i can deal with this any longer....gotts be a better way to find the problem.
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Avatar_f_tn
I cannot tell all of you how helpful this thread is.  My loop recorder is only 8 days in and I HATE it!  Plus, I wasn't given a post-implant check up appointment, wasn't given the portable 'recorder' or the card you're supposed to use when going through security.

After a 48-hr Holter showed daily 20% arhythmia and serious bradycardia (reall slow heartbeats during sleep) I was given two options - the loop or a pacemaker - for my atrial tachycardia. So I chose what seemed logical -a more definitive diagnosis. Now it hurts (and yes, it moves around) walking down steps, raising my left arm, sleeping (I have to sleep in a soft bra... I am a DDD... to keep the thing from being mashed and just regular daily activity.

Has anyone ever had this device give a more definitive diagnosis?????
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Boomerette,

I had mine implanted on Feb 29th.  Still dealing with the soreness at night as ILR was inserted at top of breast. However it seems to be getting a bit better which each passing day. What is really bothersome is every time I bend down. The pressure in my chest is awful.

As for the post the postop appt, I had to call and make it but I was really surprised  how fast I was in and out. I did not even see my EP.  I did get a temp medical card day of surgery and the permanent one arrived today from Medtronics.

Good luck to all,
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a loop recorder installed a few days ago. It was a real quick simple procedure, I had decided to do it without being sedated. They gave me shots of lidocaine in the chest and started cutting. After the procedure I was sent home within 15 mins since I did it without being sedated and now its two days later and still no pain can be felt. I did not get a script for pain killers and have not had to take tylenol or anything else for the pain.
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Avatar_n_tn
My doctor suggested yesterday I get the Reveal monitor implanted.  I am debating about getting it, as I wanted to thoroughly research it first.  I know the procedure is outpatient, but I was curious if you had to take any time off work the following days for recovery or not.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Amy
Great to read your post, I just had my loop put in on the 13th, Its still quite painful and feels like its moving around, I am sure its just me, Not much of a pill person , taking ADVIL, NOT WORKING TO WELL. Was under the impression that this was not a big deal, a bit bigger than  I thought.I am three days out and boy it really hurts,I am glad its in , long history and story. I am going on vacation on the 25th , now worried about my limitations on vacation.Could not get clear info on limitations of exercise or what i can or or cant do or should not do. Any advise would be great!

best to you
CL
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Avatar_m_tn
Well its day 4, still hurts! seem to be getting a tad better, but still pretty sore. sleeping is a big issue as when you turn ouch! Called the company help line they said the actual recovery time was 4 to 6 weeks, this is what they have herd from there patients. Great , my dr told me three days.But if i helps in the long run it will be well worth it. I hope. Still not sure what I can or can not do at this point. Wee the Dr next week , maybe he can shed some light on this

Best to all
CL
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3112310_tn?1341752591
I get my Monitor Fitted this Coming Friday and just wanted to say Thanks all for the Information
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Avatar_f_tn
i had one sept last yr dnt do it my scar formed a keloid which i hav to hav steriod injections to keep it frm spreading and iv doubled in weight cuz of the steriods. my implants is so painful i cant even hug my wife. its always has bruising i hav the handheld device but i wasnt informed on wot it for hw to use it or wen its cuz i showed no symptoms it wasnt until i was diagnosed wit epilepsy and my life turned upside down tht within matter of wks i was told i needed the implant i was so devasted wit loosin my license and life thro epilepsy tht i stupidly agreed to it now tht i want it out docs wont remove it they wnt me to kp it for another two yrs and then hav either a pacemaker or difibulator and havin it out risks affectin or makin the keloid spread but at this rate il cut it out myself
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Avatar_m_tn
I had my loop inserted in Jan 2010 after an ablation. I have never had a problem with pain after the incision healed. It does move some but seriously-so does a breast implant. It could be possible that some people don't have enough subcutaneous tissue to make it not press on the nerves. Mine is inserted to the right of my breastbone, visible when it turns. I have been a nurse for over 30 years and that could be why I accept it and go on. I am having mine removed Sept. 27th. Not worried, kinda like having a really big splinter cut out. The loop did its job and I couldn't be happier that they were able to fix the arrhythmia.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 40 years old and I had a loop recorder implanted a year ago to find out why I keep passing out. I felt no pain with the implant and went a long time without fainting. Then, last month I fainted on the stairs. I suffered a head injury and I was hospitalized for three days. The doctors didn't check the recorder. I went in to the cardiology office a few weeks ago and got it downloaded and found out that the day That I had fainted, my heart had stopped for 15 seconds. Two days later I got a pacemaker. The loop recorder did it's job and I am so happy that I don't have to worry about passing out anymore.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just had a loop recorder put in. I have a very physical job and could not get ANY info from hospital or doctors on what i can or can not do. So i decided that since it was put in on  a wednesday afternoon I was not going to go back to work until following monday.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have the device implanted. i got it in three years ago, he also put me on atenolol, and he believes that has helped my Long QT Syndrome. It is currently dead, and I still have it in. I was supposed to get it out this past spring, but too many things came up and I couldn't. I suppose I'll be getting it out in the summer.
    I am a bit scared to get it out, if they don't put it back in. I like the feeling of knowing i can send my heart problem to my doctor and they'll get it write away, and will call to let me know what is going on.
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Avatar_f_tn
I had the loop monitor put in last year July 13th... (Friday the 13th lol) Imagine my fear!! But I have a great EP in Syracuse,NY.... He explained everything,I had an ablation right before they put the implant in,which didnt work because apparently its very difficult to get to the part of my heart that is going into the SVT episodes :(  When this firat started I was 33...sittin in bed at home drinking my favorite vanilla bean coolata from dunkin donuts... I babysay my 3 yr old nephew and he had just fell asleep. All of a sudden I felt like a wave of panic..my face got hot and red I was very dizzy.. I thought I was just having a panic attack.. I went downstairs outside to smoke a ciggarette..of course thinking it would relax me!! As Im outside my neighbor came over and was talking to me. He had sais Christie u look really pale and ur shaking... at that point I passed out! Not remembering much until I opened my eyes at the hospital with my sister sitting there                            
crying..I asked what happened? She started to say something about my heart,at that point I started getting that feeling again! I was hooked to the monitor and heard the nurse yell I was stroking my heart rate hot 386! Ill never forget looking at my sister in that split second and told her I love her and my kids I passed out... felt like forever but it was only seconds that they administered the cardizim and my rate went back to normal(for me of course which is always over 100!) I had several failed ablations.. wore holter monitors,went thru it all...when finally I moved met my new cardiologist who immediately recommended the loop monito. Within 2 weeks I was in Syracuse meeting my new EP who btw is AWESOME!!! To make a very long story short.. I am thankful that I have the loop inside me...It's so much better than having to walk around with other monitors. I feel no pain, Im no longer embarrassed by the scar or ppl seeing it. Because I know that I have a serious life threatening disease and this will record everything so that we'll discuss where to go from here. Unfitunately,we are looking at implanting a pacemaker-defibrillator due to the fact that ablations are not working all the mjeds are not slowing my heart rate down,nothing is... It scares me to death when I have an episode :(  I will update from here on. But it's nice to be able to talk to other ppl that have the same issues as I do... I'm thankful for my loop monitor :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I had a loop recorder implanted in me Oct of 2004 had it in for 10months. Which they say they are good for 12months.. It was frustrating because even though I got recordings its not a good dianogstic tool. I tells them yes your having a problem and if its from the lower part or top part of heart but it wont pinpoint where at in the lower or top part. The surgery was a peice of cake. The monitor didnt bother me however I am very thin you could see it and now I have a nice dented in scar. But because of the loop recorder and a certian recording it prompted my first epstudy with no success of ablation they couldnt induce it. Since then I have had two others with no success either time. Im hoping to go for a fourth here really soon as soon as my monitoring is over. Im praying for success this time.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had a heart loop monitor inserted in my chest in Feb of 2011. My question is that every time I have it read many things show up, especially, a fib, but each time the tech reads it he says that every event is just "noise" even if I was having symptoms and set of the device. Does anyone else have this happen?? I am now suffering with pulmonary edema and after being told this for over a year. I am concerned that it is being misread or it has been defective all this time and my important events have been missed.
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Avatar_m_tn
Just to add a comment, I had a Reveal ILR implanted last week.  My history is that I recently fainted while driving and while no one was hurt, it was a pretty scary experience.  I was put on a 24x7 monitor for 30 days and during that time I had multple arrhythmias and the cardiologist wanted more information.  The procedure was really easy (much easier than many I have had) and had some discomfort for a day or so, did not require prescription meds (although I did have a script for them).  I still am pain free although I have recorded two periods of "dizzyness" so we will see what the doctors say.  The literature says that the ILR can last up to 3 years.  I am going on a trip next week so it will be interesting to see how airport security deals with it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have searched the internet for information about recovery times for this device and have found this site. I had my Reveal implantable loop recorder fitted recently. After surgery I couldn't wait to get out of the hospital and get back home. This was on Friday 1 November, I was very sore and was given paracetamol and ibuprofen at the hospital. I rested for 6 days with over the counter pain medicine which was taking the edge off the pain. On Thursday 7 Nov, I returned to work and made it halfway through the day before the pain was too much and I went home. That night it was difficult to sleep and the pain was incredible.

I saw my doctor on Friday 8 Nov and he advised that I refrain from work for at least another week while the body healed around the device and prescribed me some strong painkillers. I rested as advised and saw my doctor again on Friday 15 November. The pain is still bad when I move and stretch my upper body and I am off work for another week now. It seems fine at first, especially after rest, but once I start moving and stretching, it begins to hurt and then after a while becomes unbearable. The wound has healed well and I have noticed a definite improvement over the past two weeks. Both the scar and the device are clearly visible on my upper chest and the scar is longer that they initially described.

Initially I was advised that the recovery time was a couple of days and then I would be able to continue with normal activities. I appreciate that different people will experience different recovery times dependent upon, amongst other things, their pain threshold and the surgery itself, but for anyone else searching for information on recovery following this surgery, just be aware that recovery may take longer than advised. However, don't let this put you off having a monitor -  I am hoping that this device will capture my infrequent episodes and provide an explanation so that I can move on and get it sorted!
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