Heart Arrhythmia Studies in LA County
Abnormal heartbeats are called arrhythmia. This condition is characterized
by strange electrical impulses that cause the heart to beat too fast or
too slow. Electrophysiology studies (EPS) are exams that discern the details
of an irregular heartbeat and help the doctor determine what can be done
to treat it.
You may want to be in need of an EPS if:
- You often have fluttering feeling in your chest
- You experience a rapid heartbeat at random times
- You have frequent chest pains and shortness of breath
- You suffer from unexplained fainting spells
- You recently suffered a heart attack and notice your heartbeat is off
What Happens During an EPS
An EPS is a minor surgery and you should prepare for it the same way you
do many other operations. This includes fasting after midnight before
the operation, asking your doctor if you can still take your regular medication
beforehand, and having someone who can drive you to and from the hospital.
A nurse will administer a sedative through an IV. This is meant to relax
you but will not necessarily put you to sleep. Staying awake is beneficial
as the doctor will probably want to ask you some questions during the
test. A small incision is made in the groin area where a doctor will insert
catheters and weave them through a vein to the heart.
Electrical pulses are emitted through the catheter that stimulates the
heart into beating at desired speeds. The catheters will record these
signals and the resulting information should tell the doctor where the
irregular heart beat is coming from.
If an EPS is done when it is already known that you have an arrhythmia,
the doctor may try to treat the condition right there through an ablation
procedure. In ablation, radio waves are emitted through a catheter that
targets and destroy damaged tissue responsible for the arrhythmia.
EPS's are mostly used for diagnostic purposes and not treatment. When
the operation is over the medical team will patch you up and discuss the
results with you. The doctor will tell you their recommended treatment
for the condition, which may involve medication or undergo another operation.
Electrophysiology studies are offered at USC Arcadia Hospital of Southern
California. We are nationally recognized for our impeccable safety standards
and commitment to patient satisfaction. For more information on our Cardiology
Program, contact our team directly at 626-898-8845.