Electrophysiological Studies (EPS)
Why do I need an electrophysiology study?
An electrophysiology study is a procedure
conducted by a heart rhythm specialist (an
electrophysiologist). It enables your doctor
to analyse the function of the heart’s electrical
system and to determine the cause of your
abnormal heart rhythms. It will assist him/her in
making decisions in relation to future treatment.
What does the procedure involve?
You may be asked to stop taking some of your
medications for up to two weeks prior to the procedure. Your doctor/nurse should give
you specific advice about this. You may also
have some routine blood tests and a physical
examination prior to the procedure.
An electrophysiology study is an invasive
procedure, which is usually performed using
local anaesthetic. You may also be given some
sedation, which makes you feel relaxed
Small needle-punctures are made at the top
of your legs that allow access to the heart
via the veins. Fine wires which are electrical
recording catheters are then passed through and
positioned within the heart. Once the wires
are in position, the doctor is able to record the
electrical activity from specific areas of
Extra beats are also delivered using an
external pacemaker, which may bring on
your palpitations. This is necessary to see
where the heart rhythm is coming from and
whether you have an extra electrical
connection in your heart. It is possible to put
the heart back into normal rhythm within a
What are the benefits associated with the
The benefit of this 45-60 minute procedure
is that it can enable your doctor to detect any
abnormalities in the electrical system of your
heart and its cause. An electrophysiology study
can also assist you (the patient) in making
decisions in relation to your future treatment.
How long will I have to stay in hospital?
Almost all patients go home on the same
day. However, your doctor may want to
initiate further treatment whilst you are in
hospital depending on the findings of your study.
This will be discussed with you after your procedure.
You should be able to carry on with
normal activities the following day, but avoid
heavy lifting for about two weeks afterwards.
Following the electrophysiology study it is
quite common to be aware of your own
heartbeat, even in normal rhythm. Some
people are aware of extra or “missed beats”.
Try not to worry too much about these
symptoms, which usually settle down with time.
If you have any further questions please contact the Arrhythmia Nurse Specialist on 01273 696955 Ext 7014.
Courtesy of Arrhtyhmia Alliance. Registered Charity No. 1107496 ©2010