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About Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)

An Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR) is a small, thin device that is inserted under the skin to monitor and record your heart’s electrical activity over a long period of time in order to identify an irregular heart rhythm. The ILR can determine whether your symptoms are related to a heart problem. Your symptoms may include recurrent loss of consciousness, palpitations, light-headedness or dizziness.

When you experience symptoms, you will hold the hand-held activator over the area where the ILR has been inserted which will capture and record your heart rate. The device can be worn for three years, however if symptoms improve, you may not need it for this long.

Pre-operative Care

You will need to fast for 6 hours before the procedure (no food or drink). If you require medication, take this early on the morning of the procedure with a small amount of water. Your cardiologist will advise if any medication is to be ceased prior to your procedure.


The insertion of the ILR is performed as a day case in hospital under local anaesthetic. You may also be offered a sedative to help you relax.

The device is inserted beneath the skin in the upper chest area. The procedure takes about 20minutes and once the device has been positioned under the skin the wound will be stitched using dissolvable stiches and a small dressing will be applied.

Post-operative Care

Following the procedure, your doctor will advise you on how to use the activator and discuss an ongoing treatment plan to monitor the device.

You will be discharged from hospital on the day of the procedure. Your dressing can be removed after 48 hours. The wound should be kept clean and dry until it is fully healed. You are able to shower with just clean water running over it. It is normal to feel tenderness for a few days and have some bruising around the incision site for a couple of weeks following the procedure.

You are encouraged to carry the activator with you at all times so you can record your heart rate whenever you experience any symptoms.