An electrophysiology study is a minimally invasive procedure for patients who experience abnormal heart rhythms. During this method, multiple small, plastic catheters are introduced into the heart through a vein or artery at the top of the legs. This study records electrical activity from within the heart through the catheters that are connected to a computer. These results can help your doctor determine the cause of the irregular heartbeat and decide whether you need medicine, a pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), cardiac ablation, or surgery. This procedure takes place in a special room called an EP lab or catheterization lab where you are mildly sedated.  

Once the cause of the irregular heartbeat is identified, a steerable catheter is advanced to the abnormal area in the heart. Radiofrequency energy is then delivered to the top of the catheter, where it heats up. This cauterizes a small area of the heart that is responsible for the irregular heart rhythm and is highly effective in most cases. 

What Can Electrophysiology Help With?

An electrophysiology study can help your doctor see:

  • Where the irregular heartbeat is coming from
  • How well certain medicines can work 
  • How they should treat the problem
  • If an implantable device might help
  • If you are at risk for other heart problems

Therapies

After your EPS and the type and location of your abnormal heartbeat is determined, appropriate therapy will be decided. This can include cardiac ablation or insertion of a pacemaker or ICD. These therapies will either be performed during or immediately after your EPS.

Pacemaker Implantation

A pacemaker is a device used to treat slow heart rhythms. It generates electrical impulses delivered by electrodes that cause the heart muscle chambers to contract and pump blood. They are small and implanted under the skin, below the collarbone. 

Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD)

An ICD is an implantable device that can perform cardioversion, defibrillation, and pacing of the heart. It can help treat both fast and slow heart rates and can correct most life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. An ICD is larger than a pacemaker and is implanted under the skin, just below the collarbone. 

Cardiac Resynchronization

Cardiac resynchronization is a therapy used to treat patients with weak heart muscles and shortness of breath. Electrodes are inserted into the left and right ventricles of the heart, as well as the right atrium, on occasion. This device typically has 3 wires that attach to the heart, which coordinates the timing of each heart chamber. This can improve the heart’s efficiency and is uniquely calibrated to the patient in a procedure known as echo optimization. 

Where to Get a Cardiac Electrophysiology Study in Willow Grove? 

At AMS Cardiology, we offer comprehensive cardiovascular care, including cardiac electrophysiology studies to ensure you and your heart are always beating strong. We are one of the most respected cardiologist groups in the Greater Philadelphia area. Since our inception, we have made a commitment to our patients—to deliver the best treatment and cure ailments while also providing exceptional preventative and management practices. To learn more, or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us today or call us at 215-517-1000.