Heart Monitor Implant Advice Please - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Heart Monitor Implant Advice Please

Uncle1
Uncle1

I would be very grateful for any advice on having a heart monitor implant. I had a telephone consultation with the cardiac consultant today and he asked for my consent to book me in for this procedure, he fully understood when I asked for a few days to think about this and discuss with family members. My anxiety is through the roof at the moment, I have had so many different scans/tests, including coronary angiogram. I suffer with a number of illnesses whic I won’t go into but heart wise I have been diagnosed with angina, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and cholesterol and was told I had a high score from the calcium scan. I currently take Bisoprolol 3.75, Asparin, Ramapril 3.75, Atorvastatin 40MG, Omeprozole 20 mg, ZOPLICONE 7.5mg, Diazepam 4mg, Venlafaxine 375mg and Cocodamol 30/500 x 8per day. I do have a family history of cardiac problems/ Angina and Heart Attacks. I am just fed up every day of feeling so ill and feeling I am going to faint/pass out, which i have done in the past few months and that was a pretty traumatic experience for all concerned. I am so sorry to make my first post so long, but I really would appreciate any advice from people who have had a heart monitor implanted, especially as it would be in my chest for three years the consultant has told me. Thank you to anyone who can share their experiences of having this procedure done in order to help me make my decision on weather I should also go ahead and have it.

10 Replies
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I had one. It was a previous Gen. So likely bigger then yours- and unlike the one you will receive it did not have remote data download capacity.

However, on a day to day basis it really was no big issue. It just stayed there and I never activated it. It occasionally made an automatic recording and every three months I went to the hospital and they downloaded the recordings and had a look at them that minute. (Yours is likely to have remote reporting enabled- ie: there will be a small device that you place on your bedside and each night it will automatically send any stored data to your cardiologist for inspection with out hospital attendance).

Insertion and Exertion were very minor procedures (half day hospital stay each) and my scars about 2cm in length. The scars with the newer generation are even smaller than that as the devices are now a fair bit smaller.

The only issue to really be aware of- if you like travelling abroad it can be difficult to get travel insurance with them as normally they are not considered “routine” testing rather testing for a yet unknown condition and this invalidates most policies.

I have a loop recorder fitted. It really is a very minor and simple procedure and has given me peace of mind that my heart is being monitored 24 hrs a day seven days a week. Hopefully it will take a bit of your anxiety away knowing that if anything irregular happens it can be picked up by the monitor. You will have a unit which needs to go by your bed and a small hand help button which you click if you feel like something is going on with your heart. That will then be marked so when the hospital view any recordings they can take a closer look at that section. Honestly, I would recommend having it and I actually feel very privileged to be given one.

Kristin1812
Kristin1812Heart Star

Hi Uncle1. I have one in. It’s a very simple procedure to insert. Easy and quick.

I find it reassuring that my breathless and dizzy events are now being monitored fully and any irregularities can be seen.

If I have an event, the Cardiac Centre are alerted. They might ring me up and discuss what happened if it looks significant.

They had wondered if I needed a pacemaker, but have now decided not, and they recently used the monitor when I had an angiogram, to get a full picture of the ‘electrics’, alongside the ‘plumbing’!

My view is that it can only help them understand more about what’s happening with your heart.

Let us know how you get on?

Inserted under local anaesthetic, so quick and painless. Sits just beneath surface of your skin so virtually invisible and unobtrusive. You'll not be aware of its presence and hopefully, it will capture the data needed for a better diagnosis. Mine was there to log episodes of AF but once implanted, these episodes of rapid heartbeat miraculously ceased. It's been in place 2+ years and when enquired about removal, there was a suggestion that it was safer to leave it in place.

It's never caused any issues with airport scanners but I carry an explanatory card in my wallet.

On balance, I would say you have nothing to be concerned about and it should assist your diagnosis and treatment, so a good thing.

Thank you Midgeymoo17, LMor, Kristin1812 and IanGordon for your replies to my post and for all your reassuring words and advice, you were all so helpful that I phoned my consultants secretary this morning and asked her to let him know that I am going to accept his advice and have the device fitted. I am sure I will be back asking for more words of advice in the future from this wonderful forum, thanks again, take care and stay safe everyone.

I have one of the older models, following a couple of gentle collapses after going walking, the theory being that my blood pressure was suddenly dropping, I would gently slide down my walking pole, fall down, and get up again. I was told to make sure I drink plenty of water.

I have a measuring device that is part of the Kit. The only trouble is the last thing you think about if you are having a funny turn is that 'I must record this'. By the time you do it has passed over and you have missed it, so if you can, get one of the wifi enabled models that are a lot smaller.

Have you had a medicine review recently?

Uncle1
Uncle1 in reply to Ianc2

Thanks for your reply lanc2, I have also collapsed a couple of times and feel like I am about to most days lately, the last time I fully fainted and was out cold I woke up on the floor in the dentist waiting room with all the staff and my dad stood looking down at me with the oxygen mask on. I have also been told to make sure I drink plenty of water, but I already do so.

I agree the last thing you would think about if you are having a funny turn would be that I need to record this. I don’t know which model of monitor they will give me, I just know the consultants secretary mentioned a loop recorder, which ever one it is, I just hope I don’t really have to do anything with it so that it doesn’t make me more anxious than I already am.

Yes I have had a medication review when the consultant phoned me this week, he said he feels that I am on the correct medication at the moment.

I am just worrying at the moment in case I am told to stop driving, that would see me off. I very rarely go out and would never drive if I felt unwell, but having a care is just a lifeline to the outside world and also independence.

Midgeymoo17
Midgeymoo17 in reply to Ianc2

I also had an older (Reveal DX inserted 2013) version and that bit about missing stuff sounds not quite right. My device worked as the following:

1) Mine held data on a 8 minute rolling Basis (ie: it temporarily stores the last 8 minutes and one can collect a real time ecg) so if you used the activator with in 8 minutes of the event it would be recorded. (All recordings were a standard 8 minute length). The activator passes the instruction to the device to store this 8 min period permenantly until download. If activator is not pressed the 8 minutes of data will be deleted „one minute at a time“.

2) There was an auto trigger on the device. Certain rhythms, known to be particularly dangerous inc: VT, VF, Ayestyole, would trigger the device to record automatically without one using the activator.

Just thought I would put this here.

I had heart reveal implant with 21 days it revealed my heart problem inserting it was easy and painless having it taken out whilst having pacemaker placed was painless too

Best wishes take care 😀

you might find it useful to take your ramapril in the evening as it has been linked to falling down. With regard to driving - the test is would you have enough time to pull over from the fast lane to the hard shoulder. If you can't because you instantly lose consciousness the doctor will stop you driving for 3 months to see if it is an isolated occurrence. If you pass out again it will be time to buy an electric bike.

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