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Electrophysiology (EPS) Lab

Our Electrophysiology (EPS) Lab is a state-of-the-art cardiac suite that performs more than 1000 electrophysiology cases annually. The lab offers a full array of diagnostic tests and treatments for people with irregular heartbeats.

 

Procedures include:

 

Permanent Pacemaker

A pacemaker is a small, battery-operated device that senses when your heart is beating irregularly or too slowly. It sends a signal to your heart that makes your heart beat at the correct pace. A pacemaker usually has 2 parts: the generator and the leads. The generator contains the battery and the information to control the heartbeat. The leads are wires that connect the heart to the generator and carry the electrical messages to the heart.

 

Implantable Cardioverter Defribillator (ICD)

An implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is a device that detects any life-threatening, rapid heartbeat. If such a heartbeat, called an arrhythmia, occurs, the ICD quickly sends an electrical shock to the heart to change the rhythm back to normal. This is called defibrillation. An implantable cardiac defibrillator is placed in people who are at high risk of sudden cardiac death. 

 

Radio Frequency Catheter

An electrophysiologist (a heart rhythm cardiologist) can sometimes treat Atrial Fibrillation by catheter ablation. During this procedure you are given medications to relax or you may be asleep under anesthesia. A special catheter (a long, tube-like device) is inserted into the heart and use radio waves to heat the abnormal tissue causing the problem. The heat scars certain areas of the heart muscle that give rise to AF. Catheter ablation usually requires an overnight stay in the hospital and is most useful to patients who have had AF for only a short time and have no other heart disease. 

 

Implantable Loop Recorder / Implantable Cardiac Monitor

An implantable loop recorder is a small device used to determine if there is an abnormal heart rhythm causing symptoms of palpitations, lightheadedness, dizziness, or episodes of passing out (syncope). The recorder continuously monitors the heart rhythm 24 hours a day. Patients are given a hand held activator to record and store the heart rhythm when there are symptoms.

The loop recorder is inserted under the skin, usually on the left side of the sternum, in the electrophysiology lab. During the procedure a local anesthetic will be given to numb the insertion area. The cardiologist will make a small incision approximately 1/2 inch long. The loop recorder, which is approximately the size of a pack of gum, is inserted through the incision just under the skin. The incision is then closed with stitches, and a bandage is placed over the incision site. The patient is monitored for a few hours, before going home the same day.

 

Ablation

One of the treatments for an irregular heart rhythm may be an ablation. An ablation is a procedure where the physician threads a specialized catheter This is done following an electrophysiology study. During this procedure the patient is given medications to relax. A special wire is placed in the heart to heat the abnormal tissue causing the problem. The heat destroys the tissue and eliminates the arrhythmias. This procedure usually requires an overnight stay. The ablation can be performed for many types of arrhythmias including supra-ventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter.

 

Tilt Table Test

Tilt table testing is a diagnostic test used to help a physician determine if a patient has sudden drops in heart rate and/or blood pressure, causing fainting spells (syncope) as well as dizziness or lightheadedness. The tilt table test is conducted on a pivoting table while the patient is awake. After an intravenous line is inserted, the patient is comfortably placed on the tilt table. The table is slowly tilted upright (head up and feet down). Medications may also be given to the patient while he or she is upright to try and re-create the abnormal reflex. The patient's heart rate and blood pressure are monitored carefully throughout the test.

 

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy

This is a procedure where a special pacemaker or defibrillator is implanted into the chest, and leads are placed in the heart muscle. The pacemaker synchronizes the walls of the left ventricle by sending small electrical impulses through the leads. As a result, the heart is better able to pump blood. This, along with medical therapy, helps to improve heart failure symptoms.

 

Diagnostic Electrophysiology Study (EP Study)

An EP Study is a procedure where a small thin tube (catheter) is inserted into a vein or artery in the groin or neck and guided to the heart, where it can perform highly specific measurements of the heart's electrical activity and pathways. These measurements are particularly helpful in the diagnosis of abnormally fast heart rhythms (tachycardias) or abnormally slow rhythms (bradycardias) and help in guiding further treatments.