An electrophysiology study, also called an EP study or EPS, is a test that can help your doctor better understand what’s happening with your heart’s electrical system.
Your doctor may recommend an EPS if you have an arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. You might also need an EPS if you regularly faint (a condition called syncope) and your doctor needs to determine the cause.
If an electrical problem is causing your heart symptoms, your doctor may do a catheter ablation (a procedure to treat the abnormal rhythm) at the same time as your EPS.
The EPS is one of Aurora Health Care’s specialties. As one of the region’s most active and experienced cardiovascular centers, we provide outstanding care. We offer:
Your doctor will give you preparation instructions before your EPS. Your instructions may vary slightly, depending on your personal situation. To prepare at home before your procedure:
We’ll perform your EPS in an Aurora cardiac electrophysiology lab. You may also hear it called a catheterization or cath lab. The procedure room (where your EPS takes place) is always a bit cool in temperature.
Depending on what we do during the test and how long we keep you in recovery, you can expect to be at the hospital for one to four hours.
In general, you can expect the following during your EPS:
We will watch you for a few hours in the hospital to be sure you safely recover. We’ll take you to a recovery room and keep you on bed rest for several hours. Medical staff members will check your heart rhythm and catheter puncture sites to be sure they are healing.
Before you leave the hospital, we’ll give you detailed instructions on how to care for your puncture sites, how active you can be for the next several days and how to watch for possible complications.
Your doctor will be in touch to let you know what we learned during your EPS, and whether we recommend any further testing or treatment.
Complications after a study are rare, but could include:
Your doctor will give you a phone number to call if you have any of the above symptoms, or if you have questions about your recovery.