Surgery: What to Expect – Implanting the Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Your healthcare team will explain what happens when the Reveal® XT insertable cardiac monitor is implanted and what to expect before and after the surgery. They will also answer any questions you may have.

The Procedure

An insertable cardiac monitor is inserted just beneath the skin in the chest area

Detail - An insertable cardiac monitor is inserted just beneath the skin in the chest area

Implanting an insertable cardiac monitor typically involves a simple procedure. Smaller than a pack of gum, the cardiac monitor is inserted just beneath the skin in the chest area.

  • During the short procedure, the skin area is numbed with a local anaesthetic; so, you will be awake and able to communicate with the nurse or doctor during the surgery
  • A small incision will be made in your upper chest and the monitor will be inserted under the skin.

After the Procedure

At first, there may be some minor discomfort around the incision site. Your doctor or nurse will give you instructions about at-home care following your implant. These may include advice about:

  • Lifting
  • Checking the incision site
  • Activity levels in the first few weeks
  • How to use the hand-held patient activator device.

In general, people who have an insertable cardiac monitor can perform almost all their usual activities. You’ll be able to swim, bathe, and exercise with your cardiac monitor without fear of harming it.

After the cardiac monitor is implanted, your doctor will want to see you periodically in order to download the information about your heart rhythms that is stored in your cardiac monitor. You won’t feel anything while this is happening. After the information is downloaded, your doctor will be able to review the data and may wish to discuss your diagnosis and/or treatment options.


All surgical procedures carry some risk. Because the cardiac monitor is implanted just beneath the skin, there is a slight risk of infection, the device moving or coming through the skin, and/or sensitivity to the cardiac monitor material. The risks of something serious happening are rare. Remember to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have or anything you don’t fully understand. Although many patients benefit from the use of this product, results may vary. Your doctor can help you decide if it’s right for you.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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