MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) - Mercy Health Muskegon is one of a dozen hospitals nationwide to use the newest version of implantable heart monitors called LINQ.
Mary Stiphany is the first woman in West Michigan to have the new LINQ insertable heart monitor.
Dr. Dirk Bonnema with West Shore Cardiology in Muskegon performed the procedure, "With this monitor we'll be able to watch Mary's heart for the next several years with a minimally invasive procedure."
Mary has a type of Atrial fibrillation that can cause strokes. Right now she's on the blood thinner Coumadin. And she'd rather not be.
The newly FDA approved LINQ heart monitor is about 80% smaller than older models and has updated software, "It's capitalizing on wireless technology when she walks into the house it will download and analyze all the heart beats that she had for that day and send that information over to me. It does perhaps a more sophisticated job of study what exactly it is that we're looking for." says Dr. Bonnema.
Perhaps what's most impressive is the five minute procedure it takes to insert the device as Dr. Bonnema describes, "A very small incision then gently insert underneath the skin the monitoring device and then we'll put a band aid on it."
Immediately after the LINQ implanted and tested Dr. Bonnema gives Mary the news she's been hoping for, "No more Coumadin dear yep free and clear from that." She is off the blood thinners.
In recovery Dr. Bonnema tells Mary and her husband Robert explains LINQ's technology, "It's wireless so you're connected to me anywhere in the world. If you were to have occurrences of the Atrial fibrillation then what we would do is address that accordingly new medication to keep you as safe for your family as possible."
It's expected that in less than two years LINQ heart monitors will be implanted right in the doctor's office as an outpatient procedure.