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Electrophysiology Studies (EPS)

An electrophysiology (EP) study is a test used to understand and map the electrical activity within your heart.

An EP study may be recommended in people with heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) and other heart problems to understand the exact cause and determine which treatment is most likely to be effective. Doctors also use EP studies to predict the risk of sudden cardiac death in certain situations.

An EP study involves placing diagnostic catheters within your heart and running specialized tests to map the electrical currents. EP studies are done in the hospital and carry a small risk of serious complications.


Risks

An EP study carries a risk of complications, including:

  • Bleeding or infection at the site where your catheter was inserted
  • Damage to your blood vessels where the catheter may have scraped as it traveled to your heart
  • Puncture of your heart
  • Damage to your heart valves
  • Damage to your heart's electrical system, which could worsen your arrhythmia and require a pacemaker to correct
  • Blood clots in your legs or lungs (venous thromboembolism)
  • Stroke or heart attack
  • Death in rare cases

After an EP study

Following your EP study, you'll be moved to a recovery area to rest quietly for four to six hours to prevent bleeding at your catheter site. Your heartbeat and blood pressure will be monitored continuously to check for complications.

Most people go home the same day. Plan to have someone else drive you home after your test and to take it easy for the rest of the day. It's normal to feel some soreness for a few days where the catheter was inserted .



FAQ's

Electrophysiology studies (EPS) are tests that help doctors understand the nature of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).

Electrophysiology studies test 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. 

These studies take place in a special room called an electrophysiology (EP) lab or catheterization (cath) lab while you are mildly sedated.


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