Cardiac electrophysiology may sound complicated, but straightforwardly involves diagnosing, treating and caring for patients who have electrical signaling irregularities of the heart’s rhythm. From arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) to cardiac syncope (fainting) to potentially serious disorders in regard to the rhythm of the heart, a wide range of heart conditions can be evaluated and treated using cardiac electrophysiology procedures.
What do Cardiac Electrophysiologists Do?
Cardiologists who dedicate themselves to the field of cardiac electrophysiology have advanced training and expertise in heart rhythms.
Types of Cardiac Electrophysiology Procedures
Highly-specialized approaches to arrhythmias and heart rhythm problems include:
- Heart rhythm assessment and diagnostics – Utilizes advanced techniques to assess and diagnose heart rhythm disorders.
- Pacemaker implantation and management – Cardiac Electrophysiologists implant and manage these life-saving devices, but also educate recipients about the risks, benefits and complications of their pacemakers.
- Implantable cardiac defibrillator implantation and management – This cardiac electrophysiology area involves the implantation of the implantable cardiac defibrillator just beneath the surface of the skin and threading the wire through a large vein to the heart. It also entails instructing patients on how life will change once the device has been implanted.
- Electrical cardioversion – Through low-voltage electrical current administered through patches or metal paddles adhered to the patient’s chest, this procedure restores the heart to its normal sinus rhythm via an electrical current. This technique is used to regulate a fast heart rhythm, stop atrial fibrillation, reduce chest pain or as part of a treatment plan for heart failure.
- Radiofrequency ablation – Heat, generated by high frequency alternating currents to remove part of the heart’s electrical conduction system, is used in this highly specialized electrophysiology procedure.
- Tilt table testing – Electrophysiologists are also responsible for conducting tilt table testing. The test involves strapping patients into place and testing heart rate and blood pressure while simulating changes in position, such as standing up and lying down.
Tri-City Cardiology Cardiac Electrophysiologists have many tools at their disposal to help patients who have irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias manage their heart condition. As a subset of internal medicine and cardiology, cardiac electrophysiology plays a key role in an effective treatment plan for diagnosis, evaluation, and care of people with heart conditions.