Electrophysiology (EP) Cardiology
Kaweah Delta's Cardiovascular Center is one of the few hospitals in
the Central Valley that have a highly trained and experienced EP team
with a dedicated cath lab specially equipped with advanced monitoring
equipment and 3-D electroanatomical navigation. What this means for patients
in the Central Valley is local access to cutting-edge clinical technology
in cardiac care.
What is Electrophysiology Cardiology?
It's the study of the heart's electrical system. The term "EP
study" applies to any procedure that includes the insertion of an
electrode catheter into the heart. Electrode catheters are long, flexible
wires that transmit electrical currents to and from the heart. Some EP
studies are done to diagnose abnormalities, while others are done to access
the heart for treatment of the problem.
Common EP Procedures include:
- Diagnostic EP study
- Cardiac Ablation
- Implantable Defibrillator (ICD)
- Permanent Pacemaker
- Event Recorder
Who needs an EP procedure?
Someone who has an abnormal heart rhythm – a heart that beats too
slowly, too rapidly, or in an irregular pattern would be a good candidate
for an EP procedure. Having an irregular heart rhythm diminishes the pumping
power of the heart and results in poor circulation. When the body is not
getting the oxygen it needs, a person experiences shortness of breath,
dizziness, palpitations, and other symptoms. From catheter ablations to
working with patients who have pacemakers and defibrillators, an Electrophysiologist
works as an "electrician of the heart," to correct hearts that
beat too slow or too fast.
In 2008, Kaweah Delta expanded the cardiac catheterization lab from four
to five rooms, dedicating an electrophysiology lab for procedures focusing
on the electricity of the heart. The new EP lab is dedicated to cardiac
ablation, pacemaker insertion and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator devices.