Electrophysiology Laboratory (EP Lab)
This highly specialized lab focuses on the electrical system of your heart. Normally, electrical impulses cause your heart to beat at an appropriate rate and rhythm.
What happens in the EP Lab?
Depending on your medical history and symptoms, the electrophysiologist may perform a number of procedures. Procedures done in the EP Lab are electrical studies, ablations, device implants, cardioversions, and tilt table test.
Electrical studies and ablations
EP studies and ablations are invasive procedures that require one or more sheaths to be inserted into your veins and possibly an artery. Some physicians insert a sheath in a blood vessel near the collar bone. Through these sheaths, catheters are placed that can send and receive electrical signals from your heart. X-ray is used to see these catheters during your procedure. X-ray dye may be needed to see your anatomy.
If the physician is performing an ablation, he may choose radiofrequency energy or cryo ablation.
After evaluating your medical history and test results, your doctor may recommend the insertion of a device.
If you heart can no longer provide the right electrical stimuls and conduct the current through the regions of your heart, your doctor may recommend a pacemaker. It will be inserted n the area under your left or right collar bone depending on your history. An incision and pocket for the device is made, and a lead or leads are inserted in a blood vessel and connected to the device. The pacemaker is placed in the pocket under the skin and the incision is then closed.
Internal cardiac defribrillators (ICD)
Some individuals are at high risk for life-threatening arrhythmias. This can be due to a physical condition, as well as hereditary conditions. An ICD can be inserted, which appears similar to a pacemaker but larger. As well as sensing and terminating fast heart rhythms from the bottom of the heart, defibrillators can also pace like a pacemaker. This provides protection from slow heart rhythms. Subcutaneous ICDs are available for patients who are not candidates for the traditional device.
Biventricular pacemakers and defibrillators
If the left and right ventricles of the heart are not contracting at the same time, your heart may need help with this function and can be accomplished by adding a third lead through the coronary sinus. Your lead allows your device to improve the timing of your contractions.
Internal loop recorder
If tests do not provide the information your doctor needs to make a diagnosis for your symptoms, or if your doctor needs to have documentation of your heart rhythm for an extended period, a loop recorder implant may be suggested. This is a small device that is placed under the skin in the left chest through a puncture. This device can typically last three years, if needed. When you no longer need the device, it can be removed.
This is a procedure used to get your heart in a regular rhythm with normal electrical conduction.
Tilt table test
Patients who are experiencing passing out or loss of consciousness may need this test. You will be asked to lie flat on a table connected to monitoring equipment. Safety straps are placed under your arms, around your waiste, and above and below your angles. Blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturations will be monitored and recorded. After a baseline of information is collected, your doctor will ask that the table be raised to an almost standing position, approximately 70 degrees.
Leading electrophysiology technology
- MRI safe pacemakers
- Subcutaneous ICD implants
- Latest technology in 3-D mapping technology
- Stereotaxis Lab
- Partner with Stern Cardiovascular Foundation on multiple research studies