At EPIC Surgery Center, we offer a range of diagnostic cardiology services, including electrophysiology (EP) studies to evaluate the heart's electrical activity and diagnose arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeats. Expect world-class care by experienced and highly skilled physicians at our state-of-the-art cardiovascular ambulatory surgery center (ASC), the only one of its kind in the Scottsdale area.
What Is an EP Study?
Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the different parts of the heart, ensuring the blood flows the way it should. This movement creates what's called a heartbeat or heart rhythm. An electrophysiology study is a diagnostic test we use to evaluate your heart's electrical system and determine the cause of heart rhythm problems known as arrhythmias.
Why Would You Require an EP Study?
Our physicians may recommend an EP study to evaluate symptoms, including weakness, dizziness, fainting, or palpitations, to determine whether an irregular heartbeat is the cause. It is also an excellent diagnostic tool to evaluate abnormally fast or slow heart rhythms and helps determine whether your medications are working. Moreover, we may conduct an EP study to find the source of an abnormal heartbeat and perform an ablation.
What Should You Expect?
You'll receive a mild sedative and a local anesthetic for your comfort, but you'll be awake during the procedure. Our electrophysiologist will insert a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into your arm or groin area. Next is threading wire electrodes through the vein and into the heart with the help of a fluoroscopy machine that creates moving x-rays so we can visualize your chest's interior.
Once in place, the electrodes will evaluate the heart's electrical activity. Our electrophysiologist may send very small electrical signals through the electrodes to stimulate the heart tissue and try to trigger the abnormal heart rhythm to determine its cause. We will also map the spread of the heart's electrical impulses during each beat to help us pinpoint the source of an abnormal heart rhythm.
EP Study and Catheter Ablation
During your EP study, we may determine that a specific area of tissue is causing abnormal electrical signals. If so, we may perform a procedure called catheter ablation to ablate or destroy the small areas of the heart causing heart rhythm problems. That's done with heat energy using radio waves, a process called radiofrequency ablation, or with cooling, a procedure known as cryothermy or cryoablation.
Healthy Habits for Healthy Hearts
Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is the best way to ensure your heart thrives. Make sure you consume a healthy, nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids and steer away from trans fats and saturated fats. It's also essential to maintain moderate exercise, lose excess weight, quit smoking, and limit alcohol consumption.