22.12.2015 change 22.12.2015

Poland's first implantation of a subcutaneous heart rate monitor

Source: Medical University of Warsaw Source: Medical University of Warsaw

The 1st Department of Cardiology of the Medical University of Warsaw carried out the first in Poland implant surgery of the latest generation heart rate monitor - told PAP Dr. Marcin Grabowski.

This device is used in Europe only since November 2015.

Heart rate monitor implantation was performed in Warsaw in a 43 years old patient who was losing consciousness for unknown reasons. The device has been implanted under the skin, and it can be used for many years. "The procedure was minimally invasive, in full contact with the patient during the procedure, so that the patient could be quickly discharged from the hospital" - said Dr. Grabowski, who performs such procedures.

After discharge, the patient received a remote monitoring set with which automatically transmits data when the irregular heartbeat is detected. The patient can also start heart rate recording using a remote controller and mark it as an episode associated with experienced symptoms.

The monitor is used in two versions: in patients with atrial fibrillation, or with syncope. It allows to immediately detect arrhythmia, which can be life threatening.

"The device is equipped with an antenna for subcutaneous registration of myocardial electrical signal and assessment of individual ECG waves. This allows to determine the source of the arrhythmia and distinguish between supraventricular arrhythmia and potentially more dangerous ventricular arrhythmia"- explained Dr. Grabowski.

Average battery life is four years. Implantation of the device does not preclude diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging, which could not be done with older devices that were used in electrotherapy. In the case of the monitor is possible to scan the entire body, using both a more and less powerful scanner.

"We have patients implanted with event recorders under observation, in whom it was possible to detect dangerous situation just a few weeks after implantation of the device" - Dr. Grabowski told PAP.

Specialist emphasised that in Poland implantation of heart rate monitors for diagnostic purposes is not yet refunded by the National Health Fund.

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