Stan Hagberg, 79, of Sellersville, PA, loves his LINQ, a tiny, implantable heart monitor that works 24/7, tracking his heart rhythms and reporting irregularities to his cardiologist.
"I have peace of mind. I don't have to guess what's going on," says Stan, who has atrial fibrillation (AFib), an irregular heartbeat which can cause poor blood flow in the heart, putting him at risk for stroke and heart failure. Stan received his first Medtronic Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor System in 2014, the same year the LINQ received FDA approval.
About the LINQ
"A tiny capsule, the LINQ is injected just under the skin along the left chest and monitors a patient's heart rhythms 24 hours a day," explains Doylestown Health cardiologist Robert Sangrigoli, MD, adding, "The LINQ has a battery life of about three years and communicates wirelessly with our office, so if a patient goes into AFib, we are alerted." The information allows Doylestown Health cardiologists to adjust treatment, as needed.
"In the past, larger monitors were installed with actual surgical procedures. The LINQ is about one-third the size of a AAA battery, about 80 percent smaller than implantable cardiac monitors of the past," says Dr. Sangrigoli, noting, "Patients appreciate the ease of use and a quicker procedure. In addition, patients with a LINQ can safely undergo MRI imaging."
Helping physicians diagnose and monitor irregular heartbeats, the LINQ monitors for conditions including:
- Atrial fibrillation
- People who have had a stroke and the cause is not known (cryptogenic stroke)
- People who pass out infrequently
In 2011, Stan received his AFib diagnosis and his condition continued to worsen. He reached out to Doylestown Health cardiologist John Harding, MD, who performed a minimally-invasive procedure called radiofrequency ablation, a catheter-based procedure using radiofrequency waves to target and destroy the area of Stan's heart muscle that was causing his extra heartbeats.
"The LINQ lets us know whether the extra heartbeats have been eliminated or reduced after ablation. If we do capture atrial fibrillation, we can put the patient on blood-thinning medications to reduce stroke risk," says Dr. Sangrigoli.
Stan received his first LINQ in 2014, the same year the tiny transmitter received FDA approval. Now, on his second LINQ, Stan loves the security the technology provides. "I don't have symptoms with AFib," says Stan, whose episodes were reduced by ablation. Thanks to his LINQ, when he does have an irregular heartbeat, he gets a call from his doctor letting him know what steps to take.
Learn more about Doylestown Health's AFib Center
About Doylestown Health's Heart & Vascular Services
Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. Doylestown Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center is fully prepared to treat cardiac emergencies around the clock, focusing on rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. The multidisciplinary team at the Richard A. Reif Heart Institute is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.