Diagnosis and treatment of heart arrhythmia

Cardiac electrophysiology is the study of normal and abnormal electrical behaviour of the heart to identify and treat heart rhythm disturbances or arrhythmias. From radiofrequency ablation to pacemaker surgery, learn more about electrophysiology symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at The Wesley.

Electrophysiology Studies (EPS) A study of the electrical pathway within the heart under a controlled situation in a cardiac catheter theatre. It helps identify where an abnormal electrical circuit may be originating to cause an arrythmia and guide treatment options.

EPS may be indicated for:

  • Symptomatic heart palpitations, racing heart, unexplained dizziness or blackouts.
  • Investigate an irregular heartbeat and management options.
  • Assess risk of life-threatening irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).
  • Assess the need for implantable cardiac device.
  • Assess the need for a radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA).

Radiofrequency energy (heat) or cryoablation (cold) is used to cause a small scar in an area of the heart electrical system identified during EPS as the site of an abnormal heart rhythm, resulting in a break in that circuit.

RFA may be undertaken when medications fail to control an abnormal heart rhythm. It may be a more appropriate treatment for some abnormal arrhythmias over medications such as:

  • Atrial flutter (AF).
  • Atrial fibrillation.
  • Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).
  • Ventricular tachycardia.

During this procedure, radiofrequency energy (heat) or cryoablation (cold) are used to cause a small scar in the abnormal circuit and may treat atrial fibrillation.

A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minute. A heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute is called a tachycardia. During an episode of SVT, the heart beats about 150 to 220 times per minute, but it can occasionally beat faster or slower.

Implantable cardiac devices monitor, assess, manage and in some instances deliver therapy for heart electrical problems. Devices may include:

  • Loop recorder – diagnostic only.
  • Permanent Pacemaker (PPM).
  • Biventricular Pacemaker.
  • Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (AICD).

Meet our cardiac electrophysiologists

Note: The information here is for general reference only. To understand the benefits and risks specific to your condition and overall situation, please discuss any procedure with your treating doctor.

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