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Cardiac Loop Recorder Insertion


A cardiac loop recorder is a device used to diagnose heart rhythm problems, such as a fast or irregular heartbeat. It is implanted in your left chest or armpit, just under the skin. The device records a pattern of your heart's rhythm, called an EKG. Your device records automatic EKGs, depending on how your healthcare provider programs it. You may also receive a handheld controller. You press a button on the controller when you have symptoms, such as dizziness or lightheadedness. The device will record an EKG at that moment. The recording can help your healthcare provider see if your symptoms may be caused by heart rhythm problems. Your healthcare provider will remove the device after it has collected enough data. You may need the device for up to 3 years. The procedure to remove the device is similar to the procedure used to implant it.


The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

The night before your procedure:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.


What will happen:

You will be given a mild sedative, but you will be awake during the procedure. Local anesthesia will be used to numb your skin. Children may also receive general anesthesia so they sleep through the procedure. A 1 to 2 centimeter incision will be made on the left side of your chest, or under your arm. The loop recorder device will be implanted just under the skin. You will see a small lump where the recorder is placed. Your incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully alert. Healthcare providers will monitor you for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be allowed to go home.


  • You cannot make it to your procedure, or you will be late.
  • You have a fever.
  • You get a cold or the flu.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You feel weak, dizzy, or faint.
  • You lose consciousness.


You could get an infection after the procedure. The device may fail.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.