Electrophysiology (EP) procedures
During this procedure, which is performed in the EP lab, tiny electrodes map the normal and sometimes abnormal electrical signals of the heart's muscles. This mapping is done using specialized catheters inside the heart itself, much like doing a very sophisticated EKG inside the heart.
A pacemaker is a small device that helps the heart keep its rhythm. In this minimally invasive surgery, an incision is made near the collarbone, and a pocket is created from the tissue overlaying the muscle. The pacemaker is placed into the pocket, and tiny wires are inserted through a vein to the heart. The pacemaker emits a tiny electrical impulse that causes the heart to beat at the rate needed for your activity at that moment.
Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD)
If you are diagnosed with a life-threatening arrhythmia, your doctor may recommend an EP procedure to implant an ICD. The device is similar to a large pacemaker, yet it can deliver stronger electrical stimulation to correct dangerous defibrillation. It works by shocking the heart when necessary to restore normal rhythm.
Small, localized areas of the heart sometimes pulse out of rhythm with the rest of the heart. If an area of irregular heartbeat is located during an EP procedure, it can often be corrected by EP ablation. A special wire carrying radiofrequency energy is used to heat and destroy the specific cells causing the irregularity.
The EP lab is a sophisticated cardio catheterization lab. Learn more about your visit to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.