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How does an implantable loop recorder work?

An implantable loop recorder is a medical device that is placed beneath the skin in the chest to record data about heart events over a long period of time - up to two years. The recorder monitors your heart’s electrical activity. Your heart has an electrical system that functions like a natural pacemaker. Electrical signals travel through the chambers of the heart to cause it to beat. If the heart’s natural electrical system is not functioning correctly, an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) may result.

The implantable loop recorder continuously monitors the electrical activity of the heart and automatically begins recording information when the heart’s patterns change. Alternately, you may be instructed by your physician to turn on the device’s recording function by using an external “activator,” a hand-held device that you hold over the site on your chest where the recorder has been implanted.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.