HF 7475

Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)

An implantable loop recorder (ILR) is a small device placed just below the skin. It is not in the heart. It is used to monitor heart rhythms long-term. It is about the size of two paperclips end-to-end.

This device can give you and your physician more information if you have:

  • Unexplained fainting

  • Heart palpitations

  • Slow or fast heart rhythms

  • Unexplained stroke

Day Before Surgery
A nurse will call you the day before surgery (or the Friday before for Monday surgery). The nurse will review your instructions and tell you what time to arrive. If you do not hear from us by 4 pm, please call: 608-263-1530.

If you feel sick or have a fever over 100°F the day before surgery, call the clinic.

The skin on the left side of your chest will be cleansed with an antiseptic. A local anesthetic will be given. This numbs the area where the loop recorder will be inserted. A small incision is then is made in your skin. The loop recorder is inserted underneath your skin but above your ribs. After the loop recorder is inserted, the small incision will be closed. You may be able to feel the device sitting underneath your skin.

If you are having a loop recorder removed:
The skin on the left side of your chest will be cleansed with an antiseptic. A local anesthetic will be given near the site where your loop recorder was previously inserted. This numbs the area. A small incision is then made in your skin and the loop recorder is removed. The small incision is then closed.

Wound Care

  • You may shower after 24 hours.

  • Keep the incision clean and pat dry after showering.

  • Do not use any lotions or ointments over the incision.

  • Do not scratch or rub the site.

You may take a mild pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Motrin®) for any pain. You may also apply an ice pack.

Look at the site daily for any signs of infection.

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Fever (101°F or higher)

  • Drainage

  • Tenderness

  • Warm to touch

When to Use Symptom/Patient Activator
Use the activator for these symptoms:

  • Palpitations

  • Passing out or nearly passing out

  • Stroke-like symptoms

If app-based, press "symptom" and follow prompts on screen.

If you have an activator button, press when you are having symptoms.

If you do not experience symptoms, the device will still detect and record slow or fast heart rhythms.

Who to Call
UW Heart and Vascular Clinic.
Monday – Friday, 8:00 am- 4:30 pm
608-263-1530 or 1-800-323-8942

After hours, nights, weekend, and holidays this number will give you the paging operator. Ask for the cardiology fellow on call. Give your full name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

For questions about your device, call the device company:

  • Medtronic: 1-800-633-8766

  • Boston Scientific: 1-800-227-3422

  • St. Jude/Abbott: 1-800-722-3423

  • Biotronik: 1-800-547-0394

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.