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Electrophysiology Studies (EPS)

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What Is An EPS?

Electrophysiology Study, also called EPS, is an examination of your heart's electrical system. This is similar to your car. There is an ignition switch to signal the car to start, a series of wires to transmit the signal and a motor to receive the signal for the car to start. Your heart's electrical system has the sinoatrial (SA) node to signal it to contract at a certain rate, the conduction system to transmit the signal throughout the heart and the heart to contract and pump blood to all parts of the body.

Your heart's electrical system can develop problems with the signal to contract, the ability to transmit the signal or a combination of both. These problems are called arrhythmias. Some of the arrhythmias cause your heart to beat too slowly, and others cause your heart to beat too fast.

How Is An EPS Performed?

The electrophysiology study is performed in the EPS lab by a specially trained cardiologist who is experienced with your heart's electrical system. She/ He will pass the specifically designed catheters through a vein in the thigh or neck into the right side of your heart, and sometimes through an artery to the left side of your heart. The catheters will be positioned in the heart to study and record normal heart electrical activity and then the arrhythmias. Your cardiologist will stimulate the heart in different patterns to change the transmissions of signals.

This type of heart stimulation is a way to reproduce your arrhythmia and try to correlate it with symptoms you might be experiencing. It allows your cardiologist to study the arrhythmia, evaluate its cause and decide how to treat it.

In the EPS lab, your arrhythmia is created under very controlled circumstances, and you will be monitored very closely during the entire procedure. You will receive immediate treatment for any dangerous arrhythmias created during the test.

What Is The Recovery Time?

After the EPS procedure, you will be taken back to your room for four to six hours of bed rest and recovery. The length of your hospital stay will be determined by the type and severity of your arrhythmia, along with the treatment required to stop or control the arrhythmia and prevent its recurrence.

Cardiovascular diagnostic and interventional procedures may cause unexpected problems, but serious and life-threatening problems are unusual.

To learn more or to contact our practice, please call 407.894.4474 to request an appointment.