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Reasons for Procedure
- Find the cause of abnormally slow heart rhythms (bradycardias)
- Find the source of abnormally fast heart rhythms (tachycardias)
- Provoke and diagnose heart arrhythmias (irregular heart beats) that occur infrequently
- Reveal suspected arrhythmias
- Excess bleeding
- Blot clots
- Injuries to blood vessels or the heart
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Heart attack
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin
- Anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
- ECG and blood studies may be done.
- You will likely need to lie still and flat on your back for a period of time. A pressure dressing may be placed over the area where the catheter was inserted to help prevent bleeding. It is important to follow the nurses' directions.
- You will need to rest in bed until the sedative has worn off. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored. You will also be checked for swelling or infections. If necessary, you may be given pain medicine. After resting for at least 4-6 hours, your doctor will let you know if you can go home that day or if you need to be admitted for more treatment or observation. If you are discharged on the same day as the test, you should have someone drive you home.
- Do not lift heavy objects or engage in strenuous exercise or sexual activity as directed by your doctor.
- Change the dressing around the insertion area as instructed.
- Take medicines as instructed.
- Ice may help decrease discomfort at the insertion site. You may apply the ice for 15-20 minutes at a time. Place a towel between the ice pack and your skin.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the insertion site
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Your leg feels cold, turns white or blue, or becomes numb or tingly
- Lightheadedness or weakness
American Heart Association http://heart.org
Texas Heart Institute http://texasheartinstitute.org
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://heartandstroke.ca
University of Ottawa Heart Institute http://ottawaheart.ca
Electrophysiology studies (EPS). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/SymptomsDiagnosisMonitoringofArrhythmia/Electrophysiology-Studies-EPS%5FUCM%5F447319%5FArticle.jsp. Updated December 10, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Electrophysiology study (EPS). Stanford Medicine website. Available at: http://stanfordhospital.org/cardiovascularhealth/arrhythmia/overview/diagnosing/eps.html. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Electrophysiology studies. Texas Heart Institute website. Available at: http://texasheartinstitute.org/HIC/Topics/Diag/dieps.cfm. Updated August 2012. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Warning signs of a heart attack. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Warning-Signs-of-a-Heart-Attack%5FUCM%5F002039%5FArticle.jsp. Updated March 22, 2013. Accessed May 6, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013
- Update Date: 05/06/2013