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Electrophysiology Study

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about an electrophysiology study (EPS)?

An EPS is a test of 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 healthcare providers find the area in your heart causing abnormal heartbeats.

How do I prepare for EPS?

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for the test. Arrange to have someone drive you home after the test.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for the test, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the test.
  • You may need blood tests before your procedure. You may also need an EKG or echocardiogram (echo) to check your heart rhythm.

What will happen during EPS?

  • 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. Healthcare providers may send electrical signals through the catheter to make abnormal heartbeats.
  • Healthcare providers may use the catheter to remove heart tissue that is causing the abnormal heartbeats. This is called ablation. When healthcare providers record enough information from your heart, the catheter will be removed. A bandage will cover the area where the catheter was put in.

What should I expect after EPS?

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Healthcare providers 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 healthcare provider says it is okay.

What are the risks of EPS?

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 develop a life-threatening blood clot.

Care Agreement

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.