A Cardiac Electrophysiology (EP) Study is a process used by cardiologists to assess the functioning electrical system of the heart to determine the cause of heart anomalies. At our offices, a Chandler cardiologist assesses and treats the electrical systems of the heart for conditions like arrhythmias and other abnormal heartbeats.
What to Expect
Prior to the day of the procedure, a Heart & Rhythm Solutions staff member will reach out to you to discuss how to prepare for your appointment. Make sure to follow all instructions given. They will also ask you some questions that are important to ensure you are kept safe during the procedure. In addition, you may be asked to bring in some relevant paperwork.
Before the procedure begins, you lie down on a bed, and a nurse will inject an IV (intravenous) line into your arm. This will deliver fluids and drugs to help with the diagnosis and to help you relax during the procedure. At this point catheters, followed by wire electrodes are inserted on the body, typically including the groin area, to measure the electrical activity of the heart. This process creates a detailed map showing how the heart’s electrical signals are operating and allows your cardiologist to get a good idea of what is going on with your heart.
During an EP Study:
During the EP Study, you are sedated, but conscious. Your doctor will discuss this with you and find the right sedation level to keep you comfortable. The study generally lasts one to four hours and can include one or more of the following elements:
- Obtain a baseline for the electrical activity of your heart.
- Transmit signals to instruct your heart to beat slower or faster to learn what is causing the arrhythmia
- Deliver medicines to see how they affect the beating of your heart
- Cardiac map to locate the best spot to apply cardiac ablation as treatment if needed
- Perform cardiac ablation if this is the best course of action. This will add some time to the procedure.
You will be taken to a quiet room to rest for several hours after the procedure. While the study isn’t painful, there may be discomfort as the heartbeat increases or decreases and it is normal to feel some light soreness at the catheter insertion sites for a few days. A follow-up appointment is scheduled after a few days to go over the results and find the best treatment for you.
If you have any more questions or anything we can help you with at all, please call our office at 480-289-4550.