Is an Insertable Cardiac Monitor Right for You?

While some causes of unexplained fainting are harmless, others may be serious. Heart-related causes, including abnormal heart rhythms, are among the most serious causes of fainting.

An insertable cardiac monitor observes the heart’s activity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for up to 3 years. Your doctor can use this information to help determine if the cause of your unexplained fainting may be related to an abnormal heart rhythm. Once the doctor has this information, he or she can decide which treatment option is most appropriate for you.

Answer the following questions to see if your symptoms are typical of patients who might benefit from an insertable cardiac monitor:

  • Have you had more than one fainting spell and do not know the cause?
  • Have you had infrequent, unpredictable fainting that has happened over time?
  • Have you had diagnostic testing to determine the cause of your fainting spells without any answers?
  • Are you receiving treatment for fainting, such as medication or lifestyle changes, but the treatment is not helping?
  • Do you have heart palpitations or other heart irregularities before or after fainting?
  • Does your family history include undiagnosed fainting or sudden cardiac arrest?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, consider asking your doctor if it would be appropriate to refer you to a cardiologist or electrophysiologist. These specialists may help determine whether your unexplained fainting is related to abnormal heart rhythms.

If your doctor suspects a heart condition is causing your fainting, one or several diagnostic tests may be used to gather information about your heart before an insertable cardiac monitor is recommended.

Although many patients benefit from the use of an insertable cardiac monitor, 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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