An electrophysiology (EP) study is undertaken to analyse your heart's electrical activity and is used to diagnose abnormal heart beats and what may be causing them. It is performed by inserting wire catheters and electrodes into the heart via a vein in the groin.
During the test, electrodes will be applied to your chest and a blood pressure cuff placed around an upper arm. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic.
The test measures the heart's electrical signals to assess the electrical function. The heart will be stimulated with the electrodes and also with medication that is designed to speed up the heart rate to provoke certain abnormal rhythms in the controlled environment of the cardiac EP lab. While this inducement of abnormal rhythms will feel uncomfortable, it is necessary to evaluate any heart conditions present.
Once the test has finished, the usual recovery time is 4-6 hours, after which time many patients are allowed to go home. Occasionally an overnight stay will be needed.