Tiny, Insertable Cardiac Monitor Helps Detect Irregular Heartbeats

McLaren Lapeer Region is now utilizing the LINQ cardiac monitoring device to help detect irregular heartbeats. These irregularities can be related to a variety of conditions, including unexplained fainting, heart palpitations, atrial fibrillation, and unexplained strokes. Patients experiencing these symptoms may benefit from this new implant procedure.

The LINQ is a small device that continuously monitors heart rhythms.  Placed just beneath the skin, through a small incision in the upper left side of the chest, the LINQ is nearly invisible to the naked eye once inserted. The procedure is minimally invasive and generally performed with only local anesthesia while the patient is awake and responsive.

Once implanted, the LINQ device is programmed to continuously monitor the heart’s activity through an electrocardiogram (ECG). The recorded information is sent wirelessly to the physician for daily monitoring and the cardiologist can also program the system to alert them to any abnormalities.

According to interventional cardiologist, Dr. Jeffrey Harris who will perform the implant procedure, “The prolonged monitoring capability the LINQ provides is a tremendous benefit for patients,” said Harris, "It is an effective option for patients who otherwise would undergo multiple tests and external cardiac monitors without sometimes even making a diagnosis.”

Cardiac monitoring technology has come a long way, previously patients had to wear an external device and be tethered to a bulky piece of monitoring equipment in order to record an episode. The insertable cardiac monitor does not restrict a patient’s activity. In fact, they can bathe, exercise and maintain their usual daily routine. Once the LINQ is no longer needed, it can be removed during a minimal surgical procedure.