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Cath Lab Procedures

- Devices

Loop recorder implant

These are procedures that take place in the catheter laboratory under local anaesthetic and sometimes with the addition of sedation administered into a vein. The procedure can be a day case procedure or sometimes requires an overnight stay. This procedure is performed if you have an issue with the electrical functioning of the heart.

The ablation procedure is slightly different depending on the underlying condition that is being treated.

Some examples of these procedures are described below.

This is a small heart monitor that sits under your skin and is operational for up to 3 years. Your Healthcare Professional may suggest that you undergo loop recorder implantation if they suspect your heart is going too fast, too slow or irregularly at times. The device is sometimes recommended for people who experience fainting or infrequent palpitations.


The device is about the size of a pen /biro lid  and works by watching your heart rate constantly. Most people are not able to feel their device. The device automatically detects very fast or very slow heartbeats according to settings programmed into the device. It can also record your heartbeat for a period of time before and after you press an ‘activator’ button which is either a handheld remote control or an app on your phone. This is useful to see what your heartbeat is doing at a time you are experiencing symptoms. You should carry this activator with you at all times. 

Depending on the type of device inserted, it will usually automatically download remotely to the hospital and be analysed by our cardiac physiology staff and we will alert your Healthcare Professional if there are any readings that are of concern. After your device is implanted the cardiac physiology team will explain to you exactly how your particular device works.

Loop implantation is a safe and straightforward procedure which is performed as a day case procedure under local anaesthetic usually by one of our highly experienced cardiac physiologists. The implant usually takes around 30 minutes in total and you will be left with a tiny wound to the left of your breastbone which will be covered with a small dressing. The only real complication to the procedure is bruising, bleeding, soreness or infection at the implantation site. Usually this will settle on its own but if there are any concerns you should get in touch so your wound can be reviewed.

Main points

1.  Used to help diagnose heart rhythm problems 

2. Performed as a day case procedure

3. A small device is inserted under the skin - usually close to the breast bone.

You should always talk to your healthcare team about any procedure you're going to have and make sure it is right for you.


Image from:

Breitenstein. Cardiovascular Medicine. 2018;21(03):66-68

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