Electrophysiology (EP) Study:
An EP study is a test that evaluates the electrical activity within your heart. This test is used to help your doctor find out the cause of your rhythm disturbance and the best treatment for you. During the test, your doctor may safely reproduce your abnormal heart rhythm, then give you medications to see which one controls it best.
A small electronic device is implanted under the skin and sends electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate and to prevent slow heart rates.
Radio frequency ablation:
Radiofrequency catheter ablation involves inserting a thin flexible wire into a blood vessel in the thigh, groin, neck, or elbow. The wire is threaded up through the blood vessel and into the heart under X-ray guidance. The wire allows the doctor to record the electrical activity of your heart and determine what kind of heart rhythm problem you have. Through this wire, radio waves can be delivered to your heart muscle at the site of the “short circuit.” The radio waves (radiofrequency energy) cause a tiny area of heart muscle to be heated and selectively destroyed (ablated), thereby curing your heart rhythm problem. Radiofrequency catheter ablation is done in a hospital where the person can be carefully monitored.
A surgically inserted electronic device that constantly monitors your heart rate and rhythm. When it detects a very fast, abnormal heart rhythm, it delivers electrical energy to the heart muscle. This causes the heart to beat in a normal rhythm again.
Holter Monitor/Event Monitor:
A holter monitor uses a small battery-powered recorder to monitor the electrical activity of your heart while you go about your usual daily activities. The recording device of a Holter monitor is worn on a strap at your waist or over your shoulder. The electrical signals of your heart are picked up by two small metal pads (electrodes) attached to your chest, and these are connected to the recorder by wires. Holter monitoring provides a continuous 24- or 48-hour record of the electrical signals from your heart. While wearing the Holter monitor, you will also be asked to keep a diary of all your activities and symptoms. After the monitoring period, the doctor will compare the timing of your activities and symptoms with the recorded heart pattern. Irregular heartbeats that occur at the same time you have symptoms (such as dizziness or chest pain) may mean that the irregular heartbeats are causing your symptoms.
An event monitor works similar to the holter monitor, but is typically utilized for 30 days. It can be either worn continuously during that 30 day period or you may be provided a chest plate which is only utilized when you have symptoms. During the 30 day period if you have symptoms, you will indicate that by pushing a button on the monitor. After the monitoring period, the doctor will compare the timing of your activities and symptoms with the recorded heart pattern. Irregular heartbeats that occur at the same time you have symptoms (such as dizziness or chest pain) may mean that the irregular heartbeats are causing your symptoms.