Log in
AF Association
14,958 members17,917 posts

Implantable cardiac Device

Hi I had a ablation a couple of years ago but didn’t seem to work and I really been through the mill for the past year with the cardiologist sending me for test after test and 1 week monitoring but they never picked up any of the episodes of af when I was being monitored but as soon as the equipment went back couple of days later there you go back in af . Anyway after feeling like they think I’m a liar or a psycho they have decided to put a cardiac device under my skin to monitor any episodes . I suffer from panic attacks so just wondering if anyone els has had this done and what was it like ? Any advice would be much appreciated thanks x

5 Replies

I had a Medtronic Reveal device to try to catch AF episodes inserted nearly 18 months ago. Whilst the unknown is always scary, I think, you really don't need to worry about the procedure.

It's done as an outpatient and a local anaesthetic is used to completely numb the area. A small incision is made in your chest and a little pressure is felt when they insert the device (which is much like a cigarette lighter but smaller and flatter) followed by one or two stitches.

I have felt no discomfort at all subsequently and I hardly know that it's there. The scar is barely visible. It wasn't painful at the time and it hasn't been since. More importantly, it has done the job of confirming what had been only a tentative PAF diagnosis.

There are several of us here who have this device and if you search the Forum for posts mentioning 'loop recorder' and/or 'reveal device' using the search box (top right) then you'll be able to read previous discussions. To be honest, I don't think everyone's experience has been as plain sailing as mine - one or two can feel the device; I can't - one or two seem to have a more visible scar than I do - but I don't think anyone found the procedure painful or scary.

Perhaps if you let the person inserting the device know that you suffer from panic attacks/are particularly worried in advance measures can be taken eg. a sedative? to keep you calm.

Happy to answer any further questions you may have.



Thanks for your reply and sharing your own experience it much appreciated and helpful


Let me ditto everything that CaroleF said. The procedure is painless. I was a little bit sore for a few days afterwards, but really minor. When a cardiologist suggested the loop recorder 3 years ago, I didn’t want to get it. I wish I had! There would have been much more data about my cardiac issues. I finally had an ablation a year ago, partially successful. But after 8 months I asked for a loop recorder. I don’t even know it’s there and it’s reassuring to know it’s recording everything. After talking to a sibling and two friends who had them out in, I realized there was nothing to worry about. And everything to gain, real data. Let the docs know you’re anxious, so,they can help you. Good luck!

1 like

Would a kardia machine not be sufficient or maybe I'm missing something. Anyway check it out as it might do the job.


Hi Hayden, I totally sympathise with you and your circumstances - sounds just like me a few years back.

I can't put things any better than Carole- she's given a brilliant description of how it is. I think I am someone who had a rare and slightly less 'easy' experience... but it was by no means scary and it was the best medical decision I've ever made. I'd do it again in a heartbeat (no pun intended!).

My first one was nearly 5 years ago, when the equipment was far bigger, and my scar is about 3 inches. Now with the new Medtronic ones that Carole talked about it's small and quick and simple to put in. And there are some now so tiny they are just injected in! Almost like a 'walk in walk out' procedure !

I guarantee you the anxiety beforehand will be the worst thing. And do all you can to limit that, because it's such an easy procedure- and having the implant in is the most massively reassuring, anti anxiety thing I could imagine. All the worries about the arrhythmia never being captured, wondering what is being missed etc, just go away.

Of course at the time I had never heard of a Kardia (which someone asked about). I don't even know if it were invented then :) But you could ask about it as an alternative if you wanted. However, despite my anxiety before and everything else, I personally would gratefully accept the implant if it were offered.

Even my second implant isn't the most up to date now so I may not be much help on specific questions, but please do ask anything you like about the process or concerns you have etc. :) x

1 like

You may also like...