During the Study
The EP study is performed in a specially equipped room, called an EP lab.
You will be transported to the EP lab on a movable bed, and then transferred to an X-ray table. The table has a large camera above it and television screens close by. The equipment in the EP lab also includes heart monitors and various instruments and devices.
The EP lab team generally includes the electrophysiologist (a doctor with special training), an assistant, nurses and technicians.
After being positioned on the X-ray table, you'll be connected to a variety of monitors and covered with sterile sheets. The staff will be wearing sterile gowns and gloves.
What Happens During the EP Study
The area(s) where the catheters are inserted (groin, arm, shoulder or neck) is cleansed thoroughly. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin with a tiny needle, to numb the area.
A small incision is made in the skin and a needle issued to puncture the blood vessel (usually a vein) into which the catheters will be inserted.
The special electrode catheters used for the EP study are long and flexible wires that can conduct electrical impulses to and from the heart.
One or more catheters are inserted into the body and advanced toward the heart, while the staff follows their progress on a television screen. The catheters are then positioned inside the heart.