What Does This Procedure Look For or Show
This procedure measures electrical signals inside the heart utilizing a catheter. The catheter is inserted through a vein in the leg or occasionally under the collar bone while the patient is sedated. The catheter is a long thin tube, about the size of an IV which is introduced into the heart through a needle poke in a vein.
If an abnormal electrical signal (“short circuit”) is discovered, the catheter can either be heated or cooled to destroy the abnormal circuit and prevent or slow arrhythmias.
How Long Does This Procedure Take
The procedure can take up to several hours depending on the complexity of the arrhythmia, however the patient is sedated and asleep throughout the procedure. Notably, the patient is most often not under general anesthesia but rather receives a sedative and pain control medications to insure they are comfortable.
What Preparation is Required Prior To This Procedure
You will be asked not to eat or drink after midnight on the evening prior to the procedure.
You may take all of your normal medications prior to the procedure, unless directed otherwise by your cardiologist or the team performing the procedure.
You will be asked to remove your clothes prior to this procedure and put on a gown.
We recommend urinating just prior to this procedure so that your are comfortable during the procedure.
Who Performs/Interprets This Procedure
This procedure is performed by an electrophysiologist who is a cardiologist with advanced certification and training in electrical abnormalities of the heart.
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