Electrophysiological (EP) study

Electrophysiological (EP) study and ablation is done by a cardiologist specialised in heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmia).

Heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmias) occur when the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats don’t work properly, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. Heart arrhythmias may feel like a fluttering or racing heart and may be harmless.

Your doctor may recommend an EP study if you:

  • Have an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), such as simple and complex atrial arrhythmias and ventricular arrhythmias.
  • Experience a temporary loss of consciousness (syncope)
  • Have a risk of sudden cardiac death

How Is it Done?

Cardiac ablation works by scarring or destroying heart tissues that triggers or sustains an abnormal heart rhythm. The procedure involves inserting a long, flexible tubes (catheters) through your veins at your groin and threading it to several places within your heart.

Your doctor may inject dye into the catheter, which will reveal your blood vessels and heart using X-ray imaging. The catheters have electrodes at the tips that can be used to send electrical impulses to your heart and record your heart’s electrical activity.

If your doctor determines that cardiac ablation is appropriate, he or she may continue with that procedure during your EP study. Cardiac ablation involves using special catheters to apply heat or cold energy to areas of your heart. The energy creates scar tissue that blocks the erratic electrical signals in your heart.

Not every hospital can conduct this procedure. If this cannot be undertaken at your local hospital, you may need to travel to a centre that have the specialist that can perform Electrophysiological (EP) study and ablation.