Electrophysiology

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Electrophysiology (EP) studies and corrective procedures relating to the nature of irregular heart beats or “cardiac arrhythmias” are done in a cardiac catheterization lab. Heart beats are regulated by electrical pulses, which usually travel in a regular pattern through a cardiovascular system, but sometime are too slow (Bradycardia), too fast (Tachycardia), or irregular in other ways.

Symptoms of a cardiac arrhythmia can include palpitations, dizziness or fainting spells. Long term, a cardiac arrhythmia can lead to heart disease, fatigue, stroke and congestive heart failure. Cardiac arrhythmias in adults are typically arise when there is damage to the heart tissue resulting from a heart attack, aging and/or high blood pressure. People with otherwise healthy hearts can also develop an irregular heartbeat but it is rare.

If you or a loved one have cardiac arrhythmia, we can help. Several UnityPoint Health locations have electrophysiologists who specialize in the electrical conduction system of the heart.

As a first step, an Electrophysiology Test (EPS) may be performed. It can locate the source of a cardiac arrhythmia to determine its cause and to determine the best way to treat it. This test assesses the heart's electrical activity, enabling doctors to confirm or rule out arrhythmia and pinpoint its source. We guide a thin wire through a small incision in your groin, up an artery and to the heart. Sensors at the wire's tip record electrical activity. You may receive medication from an anesthesiologist to put you to sleep. Or you may receive light sedation medications so you are slightly awake but comfortable during the procedure.