STARS Patient Information
My name is Leigh and I have just turned 22 years old. Three days before my birthday at the beginning of May last month I underwent the procedure to have an implantable loop recorder fitted (what a birthday present!). I was told that just a couple of months previous to this, a new SMALLER loop recorder had begun to be fitted instead of the original USB stick size. Although it was made clear it had yet to be used on an adult, my specialist had every confidence he would get one for me with me being only young.
I found it difficult in the run up to having the procedure to find any source of information about other patients' experiences with having this procedure done, presumably because it has yet to be used as widely as the original across the country.
The day came and the staff on the ward were very kind, calm and attentive. I felt so at ease with everything going on around me that I was able to relax a little beforehand. The surgeon who was carrying out the procedure was amazing, so calm and understanding at my obvious nervousness. I was rather anxious about undergoing the procedure under local anaesthetic and being aware of everything going on, but it was a completely stress free, and the very easy going environment meant I felt absolutely nothing! The entire procedure took only 40 minutes from leaving the ward to returning.
I came round, had a drink, and within an hour was discharged and allowed home. The loop recorder is placed in the upper chest so, to avoid giving ladies a scar in the cleavage, they insert it just under the collar bone. Due to the placement of the device, for a few weeks after,I had some pain in the area when lifting and bending as it was uncomfortable and sore to put any real pressure or weight on that side of the chest. However, five weeks on I'm pretty much back to normal! The scar has healed great and is only an amazing 2 cm long. You can barely see it! It is a little uncomfortable sometimes when any real pressure is placed there but other than that I cannot feel anything out of the ordinary!
Overall, my experience was great. If you are about to have this procedure done, there really is nothing to worry about - only what to have your loved ones doing for you for the next couple of weeks! Good luck, and remember it is a small step in the right direction to find out how they can help.
Leigh - Leeds