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Electrophysiology Study (EPS)

What is an Electrophysiology study? An EP Study or “EPS” is an accurate and reliable method
of evaluating your heart rhythm. You may have experienced symptoms of palpitations, fluttering and/or
pounding of your heart. This procedure is used to help your physician find out the cause of your rhythm
disturbance as well as the best treatment for you.

Special considerations before your procedure:

  • If your procedure is scheduled in the morning. Do not eat anything after 12 midnight the night before. If your procedure is scheduled in the afternoon, you may have a light breakfast.
  • Take your routine medications with a sip of water.
  • If you are a diabetic and take insulin in the morning, take 1/2 of your normal dose.
  • If you are taking a diabetic medication called Glucovance® or Glucophage®, stop taking this drug _______ days before your procedure unless otherwise directed by your physician.
  • If you are on a blood thinner such as Coumadin, stop taking this drug _______ days before your procedure, unless otherwise directed by your physician.
  • If you are taking aspirin and or Plavix® or Effient®, please continue unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • If you are taking a diuretic (water pill), do not take it on the day of your procedure, unless otherwise directed by your physician.
  • Bring all of your medicines with you in their original containers. This includes over-the-counter and herbal medicines.
  • Wear comfortable clothes.

What should I expect when I arrive?

  • You will check in with the receptionist in the Hanson Heart Center within the Lakeland Medical Center in St. Joseph.
  • The nurse will take you to the prep area to review your health history and answer your questions.
  • In the prep area you will sign consents, change into a gown, and have an IV started. The IV will allow us to give you fluids and medications as needed. You may also need lab tests done before the procedure. 
  • It will be necessary to remove hair with electric clippers in the area of your groin where the catheter will be inserted.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You will be taken into one of our procedure rooms where you will be placed on the X-ray table. You will be attached to equipment that will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level. 
  • A nurse is present to give you medications to help you relax and to reduce any pain or discomfort you may experience. 
  • The physician will insert a small flexible tube called a catheter into the vein of your leg.
  • Once in place, the catheter will send back information on your heart’s electrical system. 
    The physician may send a signal through the catheter to test the heart further if needed. 

What happens during the procedure?

  • Immediately after the procedure you will be taken to the recovery area and the catheter (sheath) will be removed. Pressure will be applied by hand for 15 to 20 minutes until there is no bleeding.
  • You will need to lie flat with your leg straight while in recovery.
  • The nurse will frequently check your blood pressure, pulse, and the procedure site. If you are going to be discharged after your procedure, you will spend a minimum of three hours in our recovery room.
  • You will be given clear liquids to drink at first. Your diet will gradually return to normal as you are able to tolerate it.

When you go home:

  • You will need to have someone drive you home, because you will not be able to drive yourself the day of the exam.
  • For the first 24 hours after your procedure your activity will be restricted. You may be up for meals and to use the bathroom, otherwise you will lie flat or use a recliner with your legs elevated. 
  • Do not drive or operate machinery due to drowsiness from medication and/or potential for the procedure site to bleed.
  • Avoid bending over, squatting, and lifting over five pounds.
  • You will have a dressing on the procedure site. Keep this area clean and dry and change the dressing daily for five days.
  • Avoid hot tubs, tub baths, or swimming for five days after your procedure. You may take a shower.
  • Instructions concerning your medications, activity, and follow up care will be discussed in greater detail when you are discharged home.