My name is Eric Schwartz. I'm a cardiologist at Cardiovascular Specialists
of Central Maryland and I work at Howard County General Hospital.
Another device that we have to offer our patients is something called an
implantable loop recorder.
An implantable loop recorder is basically a continuous
EKG monitoring system that's implanted using a very small incision
about the size of your finger right underneath the skin
It records the heart rhythm continuously
for three years. There are abilities for the patients to activate them using
a magnet that they put over top of it so it will record a specific time.
These devices look like
typical flash drives that you would use for your computer.
They go in quickly after about 15 minutes using a very small incision,
usually near the mid part of the chest.
The reasons that we give people loop recorders
is a few: one is for people who have had passing-out episodes that we can't
explain, multiple times usually.
Another reason is for people who have
palpitations that continuously occur that
other monitors such as holter or event recorders
which lasts anywhere between 24 hours and 30 days
have not been able to detect. Another reason that we've
also decided to put these devices in is for people who have
atrial fibrillation, which is another type of irregular heartbeat.
That type of irregular heartbeat
causes the heart to go very fast. We need to monitor that sometimes
so these devices can record how fast the heart rhythm is going
for long periods of time. The last reason that we've
offered these devices to patients is for patients who have suffered
strokes for an unclear reason. They've gone through all the testing with the
neurologist and through
their cardiologist and they still haven't found out a reason for why
they had a stroke.
The new data suggests that a lot of these patients may have
irregular heartbeats that could contribute to their risk of having a
By giving them these recorders, we might be able to detect that.
The device eventually comes out. They only last for three years and then we remove them.