Using this guide What's covered
Here you’ll find the answers to many of your questions about heart rhythm studies (electrophysiology). Learn how it works, what it may cost, what your recovery may be like, and more.
For personal insights, see our patient experience videos in which HCF members talk frankly about their preparation, their procedure and their recovery.
What might be wrong with my heart’s rhythm?
Your heart contracts regularly to pump blood around your body and deliver oxygen to your cells. Electrical signals control the way your heart beats. The signals are automatically generated by groups of specialised cells inside your heart. They’re carried along nerves that act like electrical cables.
Sometimes the signals are interrupted or altered, affecting the way your heart beats. This can cause a number of problems, some are harmless but others can be life-threatening. These alterations are called arrhythmias. If you have symptoms of an arrhythmia, it’s important to see your doctor.
The symptoms of a cardiac arrhythmia include:
- palpitations (where you can feel your heart beating)
- chest pain
- dizziness and fainting
- shortness of breath
- difficulty exercising.
How is it done?
A heart rhythm study involves putting electrically-sensitive catheters into a vein, usually in your groin, threading them through until they reach your heart, then stimulating your heart to trigger the arrhythmia. Depending on the result, your doctor will recommend the best treatment for you.
Other treatments, like ablation, may be performed at the same time. Ablation uses either radio waves or cold temperatures to create a small burn to the area of the heart that’s causing the arrhythmia.
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