Key Points about Implantable Heart Failure Monitoring Systems
- If you have heart failure, this treatment can help prevent heart failure from worsening. It also helps to reduce the risk of hospital readmissions and improve your quality of life.
- The procedure is performed in a hospital under sedation.
- After the procedure, you will need to avoid driving and lifting your arm above your shoulder for up to two weeks.
The implantable heart failure monitoring system is a device that connects to your pulmonary (lung) artery to check for changes in the blood pressure in that artery. Your cardiologist then uses this data to adjust your treatment plan and medications and improve your heart failure management.
Candidates for implantable heart failure monitoring system
If you have been hospitalized for heart failure in the past year, your cardiologist may recommend you receive an implantable heart failure monitoring system.
Preparing for implantable heart failure monitoring system treatment
Before undergoing the implantable heart failure monitoring system insertion, your cardiologist will perform several tests to ensure that you and your heart are healthy enough for surgery. These tests may include electrocardiogram (ECG), Holter monitoring or electrophysiology study (EPS).
On the night before your procedure, you won’t be able to eat or drink anything after midnight. Your doctor will give you specific directions on whether you need to stop taking any of your medications, such as blood thinners.
Expectations during implantable heart failure monitoring system treatment
You will undergo the implantable heart failure monitoring system insertion in the hospital, and you will be under sedation to help you relax. You will receive local anesthesia, which numbs the area where your surgeon makes an incision for the procedure.
Depending on your situation, you may be under general anesthesia, meaning that you’re fully asleep.
Your surgeon begins by making a small incision in your chest. The surgeon inserts wires through the incision and threads them to your pulmonary artery. Once in place, your surgeon places the heart failure monitoring device under the skin of your chest and closes the incision with stitches and a bandage. Your surgeon will test the device and program it to your specific heart needs.
Recovery from implantable heart failure monitoring system
You can expect to remain in recovery for a few hours while the effects of anesthesia and sedation wear off. We monitor you closely during recovery. In most cases, you will spend one night in the hospital and return home the next day.
Once you are home:
- You will need to take it easy while you recover. Specifically, you should avoid raising your left arm above your shoulder for at least two weeks.
- You will not be able to drive during this time.
- You may be prescribed prescription pain medication to help manage post-surgical pain.
- In some cases, taking over-the-counter pain medication is enough to manage pain.
When should I seek care?
If you think you may need to undergo an implantable heart failure monitoring system, start by voicing your concerns and symptoms to your primary care provider. From there, your doctor may suggest seeing a cardiologist for more specialized treatment.