An Electrophysiology Study (ES) is a test used to assess the electrical structure of a person’s heart by identifying irregular heart rhythms. The heartbeat, also known as the heart rhythm, is produced by this heart action.
During the test, the cardiologist may safely replicate a person’s abnormal heart rhythm, after which he/she will issue various drugs to determine which one best regulates the rhythm.
An electrophysiology specialist or cardiac rhythm specialist may map the dispersion of the heart’s electrical impulses during each beat when performing an EP scan. This is done to assist in identifying the cause of an irregular heartbeat.
Doctors normally recommend an EP scan for the following reasons:
There are different types of electrophysiology procedures including:
Radiofrequency Ablation: This is a non-surgical procedure that treats many heart rhythm disturbances. During the procedure, thin and flexible wires are inserted into a vein in the groin and threaded up through the vein and into the heart. Radio waves are then delivered through an electrode at the tip of the wires.
Pacemaker placement: This tiny battery-powered device is designed to send weak electoral impulses that trigger the heart muscle to contract. The objective of pacemaker placement is that when the heart beats too slowly, it takes over the role of the body’s natural pacemaker.
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD): This is a small electronic device connected to the heart. ICD is used to continuously check for and assist in controlling potentially serious and immediate electrical issues with the heart.
Prior to the procedure, the patient will be given an opportunity to ask questions concerning the procedure after having had a discussion with the cardiologist. A consent form will be availed to the patient whereby he/she will be required to read carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.
In case the patient is sensitive to or allergic to any medicines or anesthetic agents he/she should inform the doctor. Blood test before the procedure is necessary so as to help the doctor know how long it takes for the patient’s blood to clot.
During the procedure, the doctor will first numb the patient’s groin then insert several catheters into the vein in the groin. A fluoroscopy system will be used to guide the catheters into the patient’s heart.
The catheters are used to assess the patient’s conduction system by detecting electrical activity in the heart. Then the doctor uses a pacemaker to give the heart impulses by using one of the catheters to increase the patient’s heart rate.
In case of arrhythmia occurrence, the doctor will inject the patient with medication to see if it works to control it. If necessary, some small amount of energy might be supplied through the patches on the patient’s chest to restart his/her heart’s regular rhythm.