The Heart and Vascular Center at Garfield Medical Center is proud to offer
advanced Electrophysiology procedures and treatments.
- Electrophysiology studies and mapping of the heart
- Radiofrequency arrhythmia ablation
- Permanent pacemaker implantation
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
- Atrial Fibrillation Treatment
Cardiac Electrophysiology FAQs
What is Cardiac Electrophysiology?
Cardiac electrophysiology is the term used to describe diagnosing and treating
the heart’s electrical activity.
What is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist?
A cardiac electrophysiologist is commonly referred to as an “EP”
or a heart rhythm specialist.
What is heart arrhythmia?
Heart arrhythmia is a condition characterized by improper coordination
of the heart’s electrical impulses. This often causes the heart
to beat too fast or too slow, often irregularly.
What causes heart arrhythmias?
Everything from stress to heart attack can cause a heart arrhythmia. Other
common causes include high blood pressure, smoking, drinking, over or
underactive thyroid, some medications, and clogged arteries. If you believe
you have a heart arrhythmia, contact your doctor for more information.
What are the symptoms of heart arrhythmia?
Many people with heart arrhythmia don’t know they have it. When people
do experience symptoms, they often include dizziness or lightheadedness,
a fluttery feeling in your chest, and chest pain.
What are the different types of heart arrhythmias?
Physicians have characterized many different types of arrhythmias. Some
of those include extra beats, supraventricular arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation,
atrial flutter, PSVT, ventricular arrhythmias, and more. Talk to your
doctor to diagnose whether you have an arrhythmia, and if so, what type.
Who is at risk for heart arrhythmias?
People who have had heart attacks in the past are at a greater risk for
developing heart arrhythmia. Other risk factors include artery disease,
high blood pressure, over or underactive thyroid, overconsumption of caffeine,
alcohol and smoking, sleep disorders, diabetes, and imbalanced electrolyte levels.
If I think I have symptoms of arrhythmia, what should I do?
If you believe you may have arrhythmia, we recommend contacting your doctor
right away for an accurate diagnosis.
What diagnostic tests are available?
If you and your doctor think you might have arrhythmia, your doctor might
recommend an ECG or EKG. Other diagnostic tests include echocardiograms,
EP studies, stress test/treadmill testing, and transtelephonic monitoring.
What are my available treatment options at the Heart and Vascular Center?
Garfield Medical Center is at the forefront of diagnostics and treatment
for heart arrhythmias and other cardiac conditions. We utilize the latest
in digital imaging tools and radiological technologies for optimal patient outcomes
What is catheter ablation?
Catheter ablation is a procedure used to treat arrhythmias. During catheter
ablation, catheters are placed into a patient’s blood vessels via
the, upper thigh or neck. The catheter travels through the blood vessel
until it reaches the heart. Radiofrequency energy is then sent through
the catheter to kill heart tissue that may be causing irregular heartbeat.
What is radiofrequency catheter ablation?
How does this treat arrhythmias?
Everyone has cells in their heart that create electrical signals to control
the heartbeat. If these electrical signals are off, an individual might
experience irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Catheter ablation targets
only the irregular heart tissue. By destroying the problem tissue, catheter
ablation attempts to restore the heart to a regular beat.
Does this treat atrial fibrillation?
Catheter ablation is often used to treat people living with atrial fibrillation.
What are the risks of catheter ablation?
Less than five percent of all people who undergo catheter ablation have
negative side effects. This non-surgical treatment option carries few risks.
Is this procedure safe?
Catheter ablation is considered by many as the preferred treatment for
people with arrhythmias because of how safe and effective it is.
How long is the procedure?
Catheter ablation procedures typically take from two to four hours.
How long is the hospital stay?
After the procedure is complete, patients are moved to another room to
recover - usually for several hours. For many patients, they can go home
the same day.
When will I be able to return to work?
This is different for every patient, so be sure to discuss this with your
doctor before you return to work. Typically, patients must remain sedentary
to recover for six to eight hours after the procedure. Doctors also typically
recommend not driving for 24 hours after you are discharged from the hospital
and avoiding any strenuous activity for at least three days.
How often will I have to see my doctor?
You should see your doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms of concern
like swelling and bleeding that does not stop, tingling or numbness, dizziness
or lightheadedness, nausea, severe pain, or heart abnormalities. If you
do not experience any symptoms of concern, talk to your doctor about scheduling
any necessary follow-up appointments.
What are some resources to help me learn more about atrial fibrillation?
The American Heart Association
has some great resources for learning more about atrial fibrillation,
but we invite you to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians
for more information!