What is an electrophysiology study (EPS) and catheter ablation?

An electrophysiology study is a procedure to measure the electrical activity of the heart and to diagnose arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms. Catheter ablation is the procedure to to treat some types of arrhythmia.

Is an EPS/ablation procedure safe?

Yes, the electrophysiology (EP) study and catheter ablation procedure are considered safe. As with any procedure, there are potential risks that will be explained by your doctor before the procedure is performed. 

How long will the procedure take?

An EPS and catheter ablation may take 2-5hours, depending on your condition and type of arrhythmia.

Will I be awake during the procedure?

You will receive "twilight" sedation by an anesthesiologist and local anesthetic at the access sites. Depending on the type of procedure and the type of arrhythmia you have, there may be varying degrees of sedation. Ask your doctor about the medications you will receive. You may feel minor discomfort from lying on the X-ray table, from the injection of the local anesthetic or numbing medicine where catheters are placed, or intermittently when doctors induce an abnormal heart rhythm.  

Where are catheters inserted into the blood vessel?

The catheters are placed into large blood vessels, typically in the right and left groin to enter the right side of the heart from the bottom of the heart. Sometimes a catheter is placed from the neck to enter the top of the heart. These catheters are then maneuvered to locate the source of your abnormal rhythm and destroy it.

When the catheters are removed from the groin areas and neck, a tiny hole will remain from the IV access. There is no need for stitches and there should be no scar.

Will the electrophysiology study and catheter ablation be performed at the same time?

Yes. After the location of your arrhythmia is identified during the electrophysiology study, radiofrequency or cryo/freezing energy is applied to the area during ablation. This way you will not need two different procedures. 

How long will I be in the hospital?

You may return home the same day after the procedure or spend one night in the hospital and return home the next morning.

When can I resume my normal activities?

You can resume your normal daily activities – walking, bathing, showering once you leave the hospital. Don't exercise, strain, or lift objects weighing more than 10 pounds for a 5-7days so that the catheter-insertion sites can heal.

When should I return to work/drive?

Unless your job requires heavy lifting, you can return to work in 2-3days. You can drive in 2 days as long as you are not requiring pain medication.

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Dr. Voroshilovsky has been named by her peers to the Super Doctors ® Rising Stars (2013) and Southern California Super Doctors (2015 - 2024) lists.