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Insertion of a Heart Failure Monitoring System

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about the insertion of a heart failure monitoring system?

A heart failure monitoring system measures pressure near your heart. It does this through a sensor that is inserted (placed) in your pulmonary artery. Your pulmonary artery brings blood from your heart to your lungs. The sensor is placed during a heart catheterization. Pressure readings are sent to your healthcare provider through the internet. This information can help your healthcare provider identify and treat heart failure problems early. Early identification and treatment can prevent your heart failure from getting worse. It can also prevent or decrease hospital stays.

Heart Chambers

How do I prepare for the procedure?

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of the procedure. Arrange to have someone drive you home when you are discharged.
  • Tell your provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the procedure.
  • Contrast liquid will be used to show the parts of your heart more clearly in pictures. Tell your provider if you have had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.
  • You may need blood or urine tests before your procedure. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need.

What will happen during the procedure?

  • You will be given medicine to help you relax. You will receive local anesthesia that will numb the area where the catheter will be placed. You will be awake during the procedure so that your healthcare providers can give you instructions. You will need to let them know if you have any discomfort.
  • Your healthcare provider will insert a catheter into a vein in your leg or neck. He or she will use an x-ray to guide the catheter to your heart. Contrast liquid will help heart vessels, muscle, or valves be seen more clearly. You may get a warm feeling or slight nausea right after the liquid is injected. This is normal, and will pass quickly. Your provider will place the sensor device in the artery. The catheter will then be removed.
    Right Heart Catheterization
  • Pressure will be applied to the incision site for at least 30 minutes to help decrease the risk for bleeding. A collagen plug or other closure device may be used to close the site. The site will be covered with a pressure bandage or other pressure device to help stop any bleeding.

What should I expect after the procedure?

  • You will be attached to a heart monitor until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers will check your pressure bandage often for bleeding or swelling.
  • You will need to lie flat with your leg or arm straight for 2 to 4 hours. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Arm or leg movements can cause serious bleeding. When your providers see you are okay, you may be able to go home.
  • You may have pain, swelling, or bruising at the catheter site for a few days.

What are the risks of the procedure?

During the procedure, the catheter may tear a vein and cause bleeding. An air bubble may enter your lung, or your lung may collapse. You may have a heart attack. After the procedure, you may have bleeding or develop an infection. You may have damage to a heart valve, or a fistula (abnormal opening) may form between an artery and vein. You may have irregular heartbeats that cause dizziness or fainting. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. These problems may become life-threatening.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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