Not all cardiac monitors are created equal. Some gather crucial data for doctors, but are extremely inconvenient for the patient. Others are geared toward the patient, but may not provide enough data for diagnosing the condition causing your symptoms.
An insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) gives you the perfect balance. The devices tend to be small, flexible and convenient. It is placed under your skin near your heart in a simple procedure that lasts less than 10 minutes. It’s truly patient-friendly, with none of the recording pads and wires that come with external monitors.
At the same time, an ICM continually monitors your heart’s rhythm and records any irregularities. It can provide your physician with data that will help him or her diagnose and treat a wide array of heart conditions. The most common conditions detected by an ICM are cardiac arrhythmia (deviations to your heart’s regular cadence) or unexplained syncope (losing consciousness from lack of oxygen to the brain).
How Do I Use It?
The beauty of an ICM is that is does all the work for you. Once your device has been inserted you will get instructions about how to get the data reported to your physician. Some ICM devices have at-home transmitters that are daily and automatic. Others may require you to take some action, or visit your physician to have the data shared. Ask your doctor what you need to do with your device.
As far as procedures go, this is definitely a minor one. The ICM insertion is performed under local anesthesia and only takes about 10 minutes. And the convenience doesn’t stop there. An ICM conforms to the natural shape of your body, so it’s much less noticeable. And because it doesn’t have the cables and skin attachments typical of an external monitor, you’ll be able to carry on with the normal activities in your everyday life.
Additional Things to Know
While your ICM is designed to provide years of reliability, there are a few special considerations to keep in mind. For example, you should avoid strong electromagnetic energy fields. You should also know how your device will interact with metal detectors at the airport and elsewhere.
Don’t be afraid to ask your physician any questions you may have. They will help educate you about ICMs so you can make the best decision for your health.