Electrophysiology study (EPS) is a test that helps doctors understand the nature of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) by testing the electrical activity of your heart to find where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) is coming from. These results can help you and your doctor decide whether you need medicine, a pacemaker an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD, cardiac ablation, or surgery).
This study takes place in an electrophysiology laboratory (EP lab) while you are mildly sedated.
Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation
This procedure heats tissue cells using radio frequency (microwave) energy to treat abnormal heartbeats, restoring your heart’s regular rhythm. By inserting electrode catheters through a blood vessel and into your heart, the doctor can locate and destroy the area that is sending abnormal electrical signals and causing your arrhythmia.
This procedure is performed at the hospital, with mild sedation, and may require an overnight stay,
Cryoablation uses a special catheter-guided balloon to apply a temporary freeze to certain types of cardiac tissue; this blocks the cells that are causing the arrhythmia. This procedure is favored by many physicians because it is temporary; the results can be tested for effectiveness before the arrhythmia site is permanently disabled by a radiofrequency ablation.
If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, faint or pass out, your doctor may recommend a tilt-table test to assess if you have a miss-communication between your heart and your brain, that may be the cause of all of this symptoms.
During the test, you will lie on a table that is slowly tilted upward until it is elevated to 60 to 80 degrees. (Standing upright is an elevation of 90 degrees.) The test measures how your blood pressure and heart rate respond to the force of gravity. A nurse or technician keeps track of your blood pressure and your heart rate (pulse) to see how they change during the test. You may have an IV inserted to give medicine or draw blood during the procedure.
If your heart has an irregular (uneven) beat or is beating too fast, cardioversion may be a way to restore a regular rhythm. Abnormal heart rhythms, called arrhythmias, may prevent blood from circulating properly to your heart and brain; they can also allow blood clots to form. Most often, doctors use cardioversion to treat a fast, irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation.
There are two kinds of cardioversion:
Pharmacologic (chemical) cardioversion: Uses one or more medicines to restore your regular heartbeat.
Electrical cardioversion: Administers an electric shock to the heart to restore a regular rhythm. If you have electrical cardioversion, you’ll be sedated so you won’t feel anything during the procedure.