What happens prior to your procedure?
You will receive a letter from the hospital bookings clerk or from the Doctors secretary outlining the date of your procedure and date and time of your admission to the hospital.
If you are taking anti-coagulation (blood thinning) medication eg warfarin then you will need to stop this for approximately 5 days prior to your procedure. Your doctor may arrange for you to have daily heparin injections after you stop the warfarin.
Patients having the procedure at the Royal Melbourne Hospital will be required to attend the pre-admission clinic on the day prior to the procedure. Some country patients may need to make arrangements to stay overnight with family or friends.
At the pre-admission clinic you will see a doctor who will record your medical history. You will also require an ECG and blood test. The doctor will also confirm the time you should be at the hospital for admission the following day.
You will be required to fast for at least six hours before each of the procedures. If your procedure is in the afternoon you may have a light breakfast. If your procedure is in the morning, DO NOT EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT, except for sips of water to help you swallow your pills.
After the procedure you will have some bruising and discomfort in the area of the implantable loop recorder that may persist for several weeks. This bruising can create a bluish discolouration over the upper chest and arm. This is normal.
You should avoid strenuous activities with your arm or from lifting the arm above your head for a period of 4 weeks. You should refrain from driving for 2 weeks. You should not go swimming, play golf, or bowling for 4 weeks.
A sterile dressing is left over the pacemaker for 6 days. The dressing is waterproof and you can shower with it on. You can carefully remove this dressing yourself on the 6th day after the procedure. At this stage the wound is sufficiently healed to allow you to shower with the dressing removed.
You will be allowed to go home on the day of the procedure after a few hours once the sedation has worn off. You will be given an appointment in our pacing clinic approximately one month after the implant.
What should I do if I have concerns after the implant?
Usually the discomfort and swelling from the wound settles gradually over several weeks. If the wound becomes increasingly tender reddened and swollen or you have any other concerns, you should contact us.