Identifying Your Irregular Heart Rhythm with an Implantable Loop Recorder

When it’s functioning normally, your heart beats at a steady rate and rhythm of from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Arrhythmias occur when your heart beats too slowly, too quickly, or with an irregular rhythm. A persistent arrhythmia can cause dizziness, fainting, stroke, and even cardiac arrest.

The board-certified specialists at Premier Cardiology Consultants, with locations in New Hyde Park, Forest Hills, Rochdale, and Jamaica, Queens, New York, are well-known and highly respected for their expertise in diagnosing and treating numerous cardiac conditions, including arrhythmia.

Learn why these top-rated cardiac experts may recommend an implantable loop recorder to identify the type and severity of your arrhythmia.

The importance of identifying arrhythmia

Just about everyone experiences an occasional heart palpitation or what may feel like a skipped heartbeat now and then. However, a persistently irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) can interfere with your heart’s ability to function normally. Changes in your heart’s activity, or the electrical signals that control your heartbeat, cause arrhythmia.

To effectively treat this potentially life-threatening issue, it’s important to understand whether the irregular rhythm is due to damage from disease, injury, or genetics. When designing a treatment strategy for arrhythmia, cardiologists also evaluate how often your arrhythmia occurs and what’s happening with your heart function before, during, and after the irregular beat.

An implantable loop recorder (ILR) is one of the monitoring devices your Premier Cardiology provider may recommend for tracking your heart’s rate and rhythm over an extended period.

Implantable loop recorder versus other types of cardiac monitoring

There are various methods available for monitoring your heart’s rate and rhythm. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG), for instance, is probably the most familiar. It’s a highly valuable diagnostic tool, but only provides data for a short time, usually less than five minutes.

The Holter monitor is a wearable device that your cardiologist can use to track your heart’s electrical activity for several hours to days. Unfortunately, dangerous arrhythmias are sometimes missed with these standard studies because they occur infrequently and so aren’t captured by EKG or Holter monitoring.  

The ILR alleviates these concerns since it tracks your heart’s rhythm 24 hours a day, can remain in place for up to three years, and records your heart’s activity before, during, and after an arrhythmia event.

With information gained from the ILR, your Premier Cardiology specialist can identify infrequent arrhythmias that may be responsible for your dizziness, fainting, etc. The data can also help your specialist rule out arrhythmia as the cause of your symptoms.

How does an ILR work?

Your cardiologist implants the ILR just under the skin in your chest via a small incision that’s typically closed with just one suture. It’s a quick, in-office procedure that requires only local anesthetic to numb the area. After the incision site heals, the device is nearly impossible to detect and does not limit your activity in any way.

Once implanted, the ILR device transmits data to your provider via the internet and wireless technology. Your data transmission may be scheduled to take place in the evening as you sleep, or it may be activated during the day if directed by your cardiologist. 

For outstanding cardiac care that may include ILR, call Premier Cardiology Consulting at any of our locations, or schedule your visit online today.

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