How loop recorders work

As far as the long term heart rate monitoring options for a patient is concerned, devices such as holter monitors or cardiomemo recorders can turn out to be an ineffective option. As irregularities or episodes in the heart can come unannounced at any given time, it is quite difficult for the patient to be ready with monitoring devices in order to record the corresponding heart rates.

Loop Recorder

When dealing with such situations, a loop recorder can be the most effective option to record the heart rates of unexpected episodes. There are many types of loop recorders available in the market and each one of them has their own associated pros and cons. Therefore, it is very important to make a well informed decision from your consultant cardiologist when choosing your own loop recorder in order to get the most effective results.

Loop recorders are available in the form of implants or as external devices. They make use of circular memory segments that can constantly record the heart rate of a patient. However, all the readings are not stored for future use as new data constantly overwrites the old one. Only the important readings corresponding to an episode is frozen and stored for later use.

A typical loop recorder can store many different episode readings based on the capabilities of the recorder. When used as implants, they are placed slightly below the surface of the chest in order to record the heart rate of the patient. The external loop recorders are available in the form of portable devices which can be worn by the user.

As they are minimally invasive procedures, they generally do not have any side effects on the patient. In some cases, the patient may experience skin rashes and irritation due to the contact from the device. However, as the pros are far greater than the cons, loop recorders are used extensively to measure and monitor the heart rates of patients with an increased risk from heart diseases or associated symptoms.


Loop recorders- Before and after the procedure

While preparing the patient for inserting the loop recorder, they are usually advised to refrain from eating or drinking anything for up to three hours before the surgery. After the device is surgically placed under the chest, the patient is given details on how the device can be used and activated.

The wound resulting from the surgery is usually stitched up and dressed. If you experience any discomfort with the wound or notice any discharges from it, it is imperative to consult your doctor. After the period of evaluation, the heart rates corresponding to the episodes experienced by the patient can then be analysed and studied.


The common disadvantages of a loop recorder

The most significant disadvantage when it comes to loop recorders is the high initial cost associated with it. In the case of implantable recorders, the need for a surgical operation to get the recorder attached can also be a slightly discomforting news to some.

However, as it is an effective way of recording your heart rate, it can turn out to be a cost effective solution when compared to the other diagnostic procedures and private heart tests. You can consult your doctor and understand whether a loop recorder is really necessary in order to monitor your health and how its results can be effective for your treatment. Apart from this, the sensors in the recorders can malfunction and start storing ineffective information which can exhaust the memory of the recorder over a period of time.

In order to get the best results from your investment, it is necessary to compare the different options available and make a well informed decision when choosing the best loop recorder that meets your requirements. You can even go through reviews and user opinions on the internet in order to better understand the effectiveness of the products in producing the desired results.