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Electrophysiology Study

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

An electrophysiology study (EPS) is a test to show the electrical activity in your heart. Your heart's electrical system controls your heartbeat. A problem with your heart's electrical system may lead to abnormal heartbeats. EPS helps caregivers find the area in your heart causing abnormal heartbeats.

HOW TO PREPARE:

Before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.
  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need blood tests before your procedure. You may also need an EKG or echocardiogram (echo) to check your heart rhythm. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your procedure:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your caregiver before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN:

What will happen:

  • A catheter with wires will be put into an artery or vein in your groin or chest. The catheter will be moved through your blood vessel into your heart. The wires will be placed on certain areas of your heart. The catheter will record the electrical activity of your heart. Caregivers may send electrical signals through the catheter to make abnormal heartbeats.
  • Caregivers may use the catheter to remove heart tissue that is causing the abnormal heartbeats. This is called ablation. Once caregivers record enough information from your heart, the catheter will be removed. A bandage will cover the area where the catheter was put in.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. You will need to lie still with your leg straight for about 2 hours. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your hospital room.

CONTACT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IF:

  • You cannot make it to your procedure.
  • You have a fever.
  • You feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • You feel new or more palpitations in your chest, neck, or throat.
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your symptoms get worse.

Risks

  • You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may bruise or swell where the catheter was put in. You may have lower back and leg pain. You may have irregular heartbeats that make you dizzy or faint. The catheter may cause damage to your nerves or heart valves. Fluid or blood may build up around your heart, making it hard for your heart to beat. You may get a blood clot in your leg or arm. If a blood clot travels to your lungs, you may have trouble breathing. You could have a heart attack. These problems can be life-threatening.
  • If you do not have an EPS, you may not learn the cause of your abnormal heartbeats. You may not get proper treatment. Your symptoms, such as chest pain and trouble breathing, may get worse. You may become weak, have dizziness, and faint often. Abnormal heartbeats can cause your heart to stop. This can be life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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