Implantable Loop Recorder

Why Choose BMI Healthcare for Implantable Loop Recorder Surgery?

If you have had infrequent palpitations, blackouts or dizzy spells, your doctor might suggest having an implantable loop recorder (ILR) fitted.

When symptoms are infrequent, it can be difficult to diagnose the causes with ordinary heart screenings.

By choosing to have your ILR fitted at a BMI Healthcare hospital, you’ll benefit from:

  • Access to a consultant of your choice within 24 hours
  • Clinical care from a multi-disciplinary team
  • Flexible payment options for self-pay patients
  • Easy access to treatment for those with private medical insurance

With more than 55 locations across England and Scotland, BMI Healthcare is the UK’s largest private healthcare provider. You can find your nearest hospital here.

How Much Does an Implantable Loop Recorder Cost?

The fixed cost of ILR surgery will depend on the consultant, any specific conditions you may have and the hospital at which the procedure is performed.

Fixed cost prices for ILR surgery will therefore be available after the initial consultation.

If you’re looking to pay for your own treatment, you may be eligible for our flexible finance plan. You can find out more about our finance options here.

To schedule your initial consultation, you can make an enquiry here or call us on 0808 101 0337.

What is an Implantable Loop Recorder?

An ILR is a tiny heart monitoring device about the size of a small USB stick. It is implanted under the skin in the chest and continuously monitors the electrical signals your heart emits.

It’s battery powered and can last up to three years, capturing the electrical signals from your heart during episodes of heart palpitations, dizziness or fainting.

It can be effective in helping consultants to diagnose these symptoms when they are too infrequent to monitor with ECG or echocardiogram screenings.

How is an Implantable Loop Recorder Fitted?

Due to the small size of the ILR unit, having it fitted is a simple and quick procedure.

During the fitting you will be anaesthetised and a small incision will be made in your upper chest. Your consultant will place the device inside your chest and ensure that it is working.

Preparing for ILR Fitting

Depending on the anaesthetic your surgical team choose, you may be required to fast before the procedure.

Your consultant may also advise that you stop taking certain medicines in the days before the surgery.

Recovery and Aftercare

Most ILR fittings are day cases. Due to the anaesthetic used, you will not be able to drive, operate machinery or drink alcohol for up to 24 hours after the procedure.

Your aftercare team will discuss dressing the insertion point. They will also inform you of the kind of stitches used and removal details if these are non-dissolvable stitches.

Your chest may feel painful and inflamed after the surgery, but most patients can expect this to go away within a week.

After the swelling has subsided, you may be able to feel the ILR in your chest, or see a faint outline. This is normal and most patients do not notice it after a few weeks.

Electrical interference

The ILR monitors electrical pulses from your heart. This means that it can be vulnerable to electrical and magnetic interference from other sources.

While most fields emitted by consumer electronics are weak and will not interfere with your heart monitor, some equipment can have stronger signals.

Interference with the ILR should not present any health risks, but it may skew data or damage the device.

Some of the more common sources of interference are:

Mobile phones

Depending on the specific model of ILR fitted, there can be temporary interference from some mobile phones. To minimise the risk of interference you can:

  • Keep a distance of around six inches between any phone and your ILR
  • When talking on the phone, use the ear on the opposite side of your body from the ILR
  • Do not keep the phone in breast pockets, even when the phone is switched off1

Medical equipment

Some medical screenings can interfere with your ILR, so it’s important that you always tell the medical team that you have one fitted before any procedure, screening or test. This includes dentist appointments.

Travelling with an ILR

While airport security screenings are unlikely to interfere with your ILR, they may detect the metal parts and trigger alarms.

Depending on the security agency, it may be necessary to prove you’ve had medical equipment fitted. We therefore advise bringing your device identification card with you when planning to travel.

Want to find out more? Speak to one of our advisers today

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