Heart & Vascular Center


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!