What you need to know about:

Electrophysiology Study

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Recovery Period:
No downtime
Permanence:
Not specified
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Time it takes:
1-2 hours
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Overview of

Electrophysiology Study

in Thailand

An electrophysiological study (EP study) is a test used to evaluate your heart's electrical system and to check for abnormal heart rhythms. Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the different parts of the heart. This helps keep blood flowing the way it should. This movement of the heart creates the heartbeat, or heart rhythm. During an EP study, your doctor inserts small, thin wire electrodes into a vein in the groin (or neck, in some cases). He or she will then thread the wire electrodes through the vein and into the heart. To do this, he or she uses a special type of X-ray “movie,” called fluoroscopy. Once in the heart, the electrodes measures the heart’s electrical signals. Electrical signals are also sent through the electrodes to stimulate the heart tissue to try to cause the abnormal heart rhythm. This is done so that it can be evaluated and its cause can be found. It may also be done to help evaluate how well a medicine is working. During the EP study, specialists in heart rhythms or an electrophysiology specialist may also map the spread of the heart’s electrical impulses during each beat. This may be done to help find the source of an abnormal heartbeat.

Goals of

Electrophysiology Study

This test is used to help determine the cause of your abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) and find the best treatment for you. EP studies are most often recommended for patients with symptoms indicative of heart rhythm disorders or for those who may be at risk for sudden cardiac death (heartbeat stops suddenly).

Price of

Electrophysiology Study

Average Cost

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Price Range

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Pros and cons of

Electrophysiology Study

Pros

-Allows your doctor to evaluate symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, weakness, palpitation, or others to see if they might be caused by a rhythm problem. This may be done when other tests have not been clear and your doctor strongly suspects you have a heart rhythm problem  

-Allows doctors to obtain information related to abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms  

-Allows doctors to locate the source of a heart rhythm problem with the intent to do ablation once the source is identified

Cons

-Due to the nature of the procedure's invasiveness, risks such as bleeding and infections have a slight chance of occurring.

How It Works:

Electrophysiology Study

An intravenous line (IV) will be started for fluids and medications. Electrodes (adhesive stickers) will be placed on your chest to monitor your EKG (heart rate and rhythm) throughout the procedure. You will be given a medication through your IV that will make you drowsy but will not put you to sleep. A local anesthetic will be injected into the groin to numb the area where the doctor will insert catheters (a narrow, flexible tube) into the vein. Once the catheters reach the heart, they can sense the electrical activity and be used to evaluate your heart’s conduction system.

Preparation before

Electrophysiology Study

Pre - treatment

You may be asked to stop taking certain medications several days before the study to ensure accurate results. Blood thinners such as Coumadin are usually stopped four days before the procedure. If you are taking a blood thinner, please let your doctor know. Your doctor will discuss about any allergic reactions you have experienced from medications. Before your procedure, your doctor will review your medical history and examine you. He or she also will explain the purpose of the procedure, its potential benefits and possible risks. Because an EP study is "invasive," requiring the insertion of catheters into the body, it involves some risk. The risk is small, however, and the study is relatively safe.

Recovery after

Electrophysiology Study

Post - treatment

After the study is over, you will be moved to a recovery room where you will rest for another one to three hours. While you rest, a nurse will check in frequently to monitor the state of the catheter’s injection site. Your doctor may also come in to discuss your test results with you, or you may be asked to schedule a separate appointment. A nurse will also talk to you about your post-op care and what to do once you are home.

Risks & side effects

-Bleeding and bruising at the site where the catheter(s) is put into a vein  

-Damage to the vessel that the catheter is put into  

-Formation of blood clots at the end of the catheter(s) that break off and travel into a blood vessel  

-Rarely, infection of the catheter site(s)  

-Rarely, perforation (a hole) of the heart  

-Rarely, damage to the heart's conduction system  

-For some people, having to lie still on the procedure table for the length of the study may be uncomfortable or painful.  There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the test.

FAQs:

Electrophysiology Study

What kinds of patients are eligible for this procedure?

Patients who:  

-Suffer from recurrent palpitation or loss of consciousness of unknown cause.

-Are known to have supraventricular tachycardia or ventricular tachycardia.

-Are known to have conduction abnormality that may require pacemaker.

-Have survived sudden death.

Why might I need an electrophysiological study?

Your healthcare provider may advise an EP study for these reasons:  

-To evaluate symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, weakness, palpitation, or others to see if they might be caused by a rhythm problem. This may be done when other tests have not been clear and your doctor strongly suspects you have a heart rhythm problem  

-EP studies can be used to get information related to abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms  

-To find the source of a heart rhythm problem with the intent to do ablation once the source is identified  

-To see how well medicine(s) given to treat a rhythm problem are working  

-There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to recommend an EP study.

What can I expect after the study?

Most patients experience no difficulties after an electrophysiology study and are able to resume all regular activities the next day. It is recommended that patients not consume any food or medication for at least six hours after the procedure, and that they wait at least 24 hours before driving.

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