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Electrophysiology Studies (EPS)

Electrophysiology studies (EPS) are tests that help your doctors locate the source of an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia). The results of these tests help determine your treatment plan.

Why it's done

EPS are done for several reasons:

  • To locate where an arrhythmia is coming from
  • To see how well certain medications work on your heart
  • To determine what treatment may be most suitable for you
  • To determine whether you are at risk for other heart problems

EPS procedure

Before your EPS begins, a nurse will give you a sedative to help you relax during the tests.

A local anesthetic is given to numb the area where your doctor will be working (usually the groin) and a small, straw-sized tube is inserted into your artery or vein.

EP catheters are then guided through this sheath and placed into your heart. When the catheters are in place, electrical pulses are delivered to make your heart beat at different speeds.

The catheters will pick up any electrical signals from your heart and record them, which is called cardiac mapping.

The entire procedure lasts from one to four hours.

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