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Implantable Heart Monitor: Basic Knowledge

Sometimes, your heart’s activity needs to be monitored over a longer period. Find out more about why this may be necessary, how insertable cardiac monitors are implanted and how they transmit data to your physician.

Physician talking to a patient

Why Do I Need A Heart Monitor?

Insertable cardiac monitors (ICM), sometimes also referred to as insertable loop recorders, help your physician to monitor your heart rhythm over months or years. They provide the time needed to diagnose the most difficult-to-detect heart conditions behind, for instance, recurrent and unexplained fainting, heart palpitations, unexplained stroke or atrial fibrillation. Since irregular heartbeats may occur infrequently, they would otherwise go undetected by a normal ECG. Sometimes, an ICM is also used to make sure that your prescribed heart treatment is doing what it is supposed to do.  

What Is An Implantable Cardiac Monitor (ICM)?

Implantable cardiac monitors, like the BIOMONITOR, are mini-electrocardiogram (ECG) devices which are implanted just under the skin in the left chest area. They continuously record the heart’s rhythm and automatically detect any irregularities. All clinically relevant data is stored on the device and transmitted daily via the BIOTRONIK Home Monitoring® system. As a result, your physician will be able to see whether and what kind of irregular heartbeats occur. This information is crucial to identify the cause of the symptoms you experience and decide on the best course of treatment. 

Injection Procedure

The procedure to inject a BIOMONITOR is minimally invasive as it is inserted just beneath the skin of the chest. It is performed in a hospital or medical office under local anesthesia and only takes a few minutes. You are awake and will be able to communicate to the healthcare team performing the procedure. To inject the BIOMONITOR, a physician will make a very small cut in the upper chest. The physician will insert the heart monitor with a specially designed tool. After the cardiac monitor is placed successfully, the physician will remove the injection tool and will close the incision with medical tape or with a few stitches. 

After the Implantation

Recovery from this procedure tends to be minimal. After the short and simple procedure, you may stay in the hospital overnight but usually leave the same day. Listen carefully to your physician and follow their instructions. 

At home, monitor how the incision is healing. Minor discomfort near the incision site is perfectly normal. BIOMONITOR is a tiny device with a flexible antenna that adapts to your body’s natural shape. Most patients get used to it quickly and soon cease to notice it. 

Your physician may give you a “Remote Assistant” that allows you to store an ECG whenever you experience symptoms. Place it over the implanted device, press the button, and BIOMONITOR will store the event. The BIOMONITOR will also recognize arrhythmias automatically and store their ECGs for evaluation. 

BIOMONITOR is protected against magnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation from other devices, so you may use usual household tools and devices without hesitation. BIOMONITOR includes ProMRI® technology, so you may undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Nevertheless, and as with any medical examination, please inform medical staff that you have an insertable cardiac monitor. 

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