Holter Monitors & Event Monitors
Patients wear these monitors on the outside of the body to record the heart’s activity. They're not implanted.
- Holter monitor: Worn for a day or more
- Event monitor: Worn for a longer period of time (up to 30 days)
A doctor implants a loop recorder to record your heart’s rhythm for up to three years. We use data from the loop recorder to diagnosis heart rhythm disorders and determine treatment options.
Treatment with Heart Devices
A doctor implants a pacemaker in the upper portion of the chest with one or more wires (leads) that pass through a vein into your heart. They help keep your heart from beating too slowly.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD)
Used to treat dangerous heart rhythms from the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles), ICDs can both restore normal rhythm with painless pacing and, if necessary, provide an electric shock to prevent patients from dying suddenly from very fast heart rhythms. Your doctor may recommend an ICD if you're at risk for certain types of arrhythmias.
You may need an ICD if you’ve had:
- A life-threatening arrhythmia, like ventricular arrhythmia
- Reduced heart function from a heart attack, prior viral infection or other medical conditions that weaken the heart (heart failure)
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT) Defibrillators
Cardiac resynchronization therapy is a bi-ventricular pacemaker or defibrillator with three leads instead of one or two like standard ICDs. The CRT device paces both ventricles at the same time to improve heart function and reduce heart failure symptoms like shortness of breath. At UVA, we can use MRI to optimize the implementation of CRT and maximize our patients' quality of life.
You must quality for CRT. Our doctors will help determine if you're a candidate.
Sometimes if you’ve had a pacemaker or defibrillator for a long time, the wires or leads need to be removed. We’re one of a few centers in the state to do complex laser lead extraction (removal of the wires connected to an implanted device because of scarring, infection or damage).
Remote Device Monitoring
We check pacemakers and defibrillators during regular visits with your electrophysiologist or cardiologist.
Many pacemakers and ICDs are also monitored from home by phone or internet. This means you don’t have to make as many trips to the hospital or doctor. If we do see a problem, you may need to come in so we can take a closer look.
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