If you experience one or recurrent fainting spells and their cause remains unexplained, your doctor may prescribe an insertable cardiac monitor. The insertable cardiac monitor will continuously record your heart’s rhythm over long periods of time. If you experience another fainting episode after receiving the monitor, your doctor can access and download information from the monitor, which may help to determine if your fainting was caused by a heart related problem.
What Is an Insertable Cardiac Monitor?
An insertable cardiac monitor is a small device that continuously monitors heart rhythms and records them automatically and manually by using a hand-held patient assistant. The device is inserted just beneath the skin in the chest area during a simple procedure.
An insertable cardiac monitor is programmed to continuously monitor your heart’s activity in the form of an electrocardiogram (ECG). When a fainting spell occurs, you or your family member should immediately place the hand-held patient assistant over the cardiac monitor and press the record symptoms (heart-shaped) button.
This triggers the device to record the heart’s rhythm before, during, and after the unexplained fainting spell. An insertable cardiac monitor can also be programmed to record abnormal heart rhythms automatically. Your doctor has a better possibility of determining the cause of your fainting by reviewing the information recorded by your insertable cardiac monitor and comparing to what you may have marked using your patient assistant.
If a heart-rhythm related cause of fainting is found, your doctor may recommend treatment based on the diagnosis. If the cause of your fainting is not heart-rhythm related, your doctor can focus on other potential causes of your symptoms.
Lourdes Cardiovascular Institute is first to be able to use this mini-technology.
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.