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Electrophysiology study (EPS) :

A special heart catheterisation that evaluates your heart’s electrical system. Catheters are inserted into your heart to record the electrical activity. The EPS is used to find the cause of the abnormal rhythm and determine the best treatment for you. During the test, the arrhythmia can be safely reproduced and terminated. We use cardiac catheters and computers to create electrocardiogram (ECG) tracings and electrical measurements from inside your heart. It is a study to determine the exact cause of an arrhythmia to allow permanent treatment by means of an ablation. During the test, your cardiologist can safely reproduce your abnormal heart rhythm and then determine where exactly in the heart the rhythm is coming from. Your cardiologist uses the EP study to: Find out what is causing your abnormal heart rhythm (also called arrhythmia or dysrhythmia) Determine where in your heart the abnormal heart rhythm begins Decide which treatment is best for your abnormal heart rhythm The procedure is performed in an electrophysiology laboratory under controlled clinical circumstances. You are usually given a light sedative so that you are relaxed and at ease during the procedure. The procedure is performed by cardiologists and nurses who specialize in electrophysiology. An EP study is generally a very safe procedure. However, as with any invasive procedure, there are risks. Special precautions are taken to decrease these risks.

Will I be monitored?

Several monitors are used so your healthcare team can check your heart rhythm and blood pressure throughout the procedure.

Monitors Used During the Procedure

1. Fluoroscopy: A large X-ray machine will be positioned above you to help the doctors see the catheters on an X-ray screen during the procedure. 2. Defibrillator/pacemaker/cardioverter: Attached to one sticky patch placed on the center of your back and one on your chest. This allows the doctor and nurse to pace your heart rate if it is too slow, or deliver energy to your heart if the rate is too fast. 3. Electrocardiogram (ECG): Attached to several sticky electrode patches placed on your chest, as well as inside your heart. Provides a picture on the monitors of the electrical impulses traveling through the heart. 4. Blood pressure monitor: Connected to a blood pressure cuff on your arm. Checks your blood pressure throughout the procedure. 5. Oximeter monitor: Attached to a small clip placed on your finger. Checks the oxygen level of your blood. Will I be awake? You’ll receive a medication through an IV (intravenous line) to help you relax and make you feel drowsy, but you will not be asleep during the test. What happens during the procedure? The doctor will numb your groin with a special medication and then insert several catheters into the veins in your groin. The doctor uses the XRay system to guide the catheters to your heart. The catheters sense the electrical activity in your heart and are used to evaluate your heart’s conduction system. The doctor will use a computerised pacing system to give the heart electrical impulses through one of the catheters to increase your heart rate. You may feel your heart beating faster or stronger. When your arrhythmia occurs further testing with the catheters can identify the exact site of origin of the arrhythmia. With this information the cardiologist can then proceed to an ablation to permanently cure the abnormal heart rhythm How long does the procedure last? The EP study time varies depending on the arrhythmia. It may take 1 to 2  hours. Will I need to stay in the hospital? You will need to stay overnight and can go home the next day.

Electrophysiology study (EPS)