An electrophysiology (EP) study is a test that records the electrical activity and the electrical pathways of your heart. This test is done to help determine the cause of a heart rhythm disturbance and used to provide possible treatment options. This procedure is done in a cardiac catheterization lab. A small catheter is inserted typically in your leg or your neck. A catheter is then threaded up to the heart and can stimulate areas of the heart with specialized electrodes.
An EP study may be done on patients who are at risk for sudden cardiac death. Some patients who might be at risk include: those who have recently had a heart attack, have poor pumping function of their heart, or have a cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). This test may also be performed on someone who has episodes of a very fast or irregular heart rate.
An EP study is often done on patients with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), and the study can determine if the source of the irregular heart rhythm can be removed through a process called Ablation. Cardiac ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that can be done in the cardiac cath lab or performed robotically in the Operating Room. In cardiac ablation, catheters (thin, flexible tubes) are threaded through the patient's blood vessels to reach the heart and disable (ablate) abnormal heart tissue. Cardiac ablation may be used to treat Atrial Fibrillation and Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). The abnormal tissue, or pathway, is identified and then high frequency radio waves or cryo therapy are used to destroy the pathway. Once the abnormal pathway is ablated, normal conduction can take over and restore a normal rhythm.
Preparing for Cardiac and Peripheral Catheterization
MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute specializes in minimally invasive heart procedures. With these innovative techniques, patients benefit from fewer complications, less scarring, greater comfort and faster recoveries. Distinguished as a leading heart and vascular institute.
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